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From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:54:59 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 01/15 - Introduction
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:02 $
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON SCI.SPACE/SCI.ASTRO
This series of linked messages is periodically posted to the Usenet
groups sci.space and sci.astro in an attempt to provide good answers to
frequently asked questions and other reference material which is worth
preserving. If you have corrections or answers to other frequently asked
questions that you would like included in this posting, send email to
[email protected] (Jon Leech).
If you don't want to see the FAQ, add 'Frequently Asked Questions' to
your KILL file for this group (if you're not reading this with a newsreader
that can kill articles by subject, you're out of luck).
The FAQ volume is excessive right now and will hopefully be trimmed down
by rewriting and condensing over time. The FAQ postings are available in
the Ames SPACE archive in FAQ/faq<#>.
Good summaries will be accepted in place of the answers given here. The
point of this is to circulate existing information, and avoid rehashing old
answers. Better to build on top than start again. Nothing more depressing
than rehashing old topics for the 100th time. References are provided
because they give more complete information than any short generalization.
Questions fall into three basic types:
1) Where do I find some information about space?
Try your local public library first. The net is not a good place to ask
for general information. Ask INDIVIDUALS (by email) if you must. There
are other sources, use them, too. The net is a place for open ended
2) I have an idea which would improve space flight?
Hope you aren't surprised, but 9,999 out of 10,000 have usually been
thought of before. Again, contact a direct individual source for
evaluation. NASA fields thousands of these each day.
3) Miscellanous queries.
These are addressed on a case-by-case basis in the following series of
SUGGESTIONS FOR BETTER NETIQUETTE
Read news.announce.newusers if you're on Usenet.
Minimize cross references, [Do you REALLY NEED to?]
Edit "Subject:" lines, especially if you're taking a tangent.
Send mail instead, avoid posting follow ups. (1 mail message worth
Internet mail readers: send requests to add/drop to SPACE-REQUEST
Read all available articles before posting a follow-up. (Check all
Cut down attributed articles (leave only the points you're
responding to; remove signatures and headers). Summarize!
Put a return address in the body (signature) of your message (mail
or article), state your institution, etc. Don't assume the
'reply' function of mailers will work.
Use absolute dates. Post in a timely way. Don't post what everyone
will get on TV anyway.
Some editors and window systems do character count line wrapping:
keep lines under 80 characters for those using ASCII terminals
(use carriage returns).
INDEX TO LINKED POSTINGS
I've attempted to break the postings up into related areas. There isn't
a keyword index yet; the following lists the major subject areas in each
posting. Only those containing astronomy-related material are posted to
sci.astro (indicated by '*' following the posting number).
Suggestions for better netiquette
Index to linked postings
Notes on addresses, phone numbers, etc.
2* Network resources
Periodically updated information
Warning about non-public networks
3* Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.
NASA Astrophysics Data System
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (Mission Information and Images)
NASA Langley (Technical Reports)
National Space Science Data Center
Space And Planetary Image Facility
Space Telescope Science Institute Electronic Info. Service
Orbital Element Sets
Landsat & NASA Photos
4* Performing calculations and interpreting data formats
Computing spacecraft orbits and trajectories
Computing planetary positions
Computing crater diameters from Earth-impacting asteroids
Map projections and spherical trignometry
Performing N-body simulations efficiently
Interpreting the FITS image format
Sky (Unix ephemeris program)
Three-dimensional star/galaxy coordinates
5* References on specific areas
Publishers of space/astronomy material
Careers in the space industry
DC-X single-stage to orbit (SSTO) program
LLNL "great exploration"
Lunar science and activities
Esoteric propulsion schemes (solar sails, lasers, fusion...)
Space shuttle computer systems
SETI computation (signal processing)
Amateur satellies & weather satellites
6* Constants and equations for calculations
7* Astronomical Mnemonics
8 Contacting NASA, ESA, and other space agencies/companies
NASA Centers / Arianespace / ESA / NASDA / Soyuzkarta / Space
Camp / Space Commerce Corporation / Spacehab / SPOT Image
Other commercial space businesses
9 Space shuttle answers, launch schedules, TV coverage
Shuttle launchings and landings; schedules and how to see them
How to receive the NASA TV channel, NASA SELECT
Amateur radio frequencies for shuttle missions
Solid Rocket Booster fuel composition
10 Planetary probes - Historical Missions
US planetary missions
Mariner (Venus, Mars, & Mercury flybys and orbiters)
Pioneer (Moon, Sun, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn flybys and orbiters)
Ranger (Lunar lander and impact missions)
Lunar Orbiter (Lunar surface photography)
Surveyor (Lunar soft landers)
Viking (Mars orbiters and landers)
Voyager (Outer planet flybys)
Soviet planetary missions
Soviet Lunar probes
Soviet Venus probes
Soviet Mars probes
Japanese planetary missions
Planetary mission references
11 Upcoming planetary probes - missions and schedules
Other space science missions
12 Controversial questions
What happened to the Saturn V plans
Why data from space missions isn't immediately available
Risks of nuclear (RTG) power sources for space probes
Impact of the space shuttle on the ozone layer
How long can a human live unprotected in space
Using the shuttle beyond Low Earth Orbit
The "Face on Mars"
13 Space activist/interest/research groups and space publications
14 How to become an astronaut
15 Orbital and Planetary Launch Services
NOTES ON ADDRESSES, PHONE NUMBERS, ETC.
Unless otherwise specified, telephone numbers, addresses, and so on are
for the United States of America. Non-US readers should remember to add
the country code for telephone calls, etc.
Eugene Miya started a series of linked FAQ postings some years ago which
inspired (and was largely absorbed into) this set.
Peter Yee and Ron Baalke have and continue to spend a lot of their own
time setting up the SPACE archives at NASA Ames and forwarding official
Many other people have contributed material to this list in the form of
old postings to sci.space and sci.astro which I've edited. Please let me
know if corrections need to be made. Contributors I've managed to keep
track of are:
[email protected] (Francis Reddy) - map projections
[email protected] (Steven Fisk) - publication refs.
[email protected] (Richard Akerman) - crater diameters
[email protected] (Lisa Weigel) - SEDS info
[email protected] (Srinivas Bettadpur) - tides
[email protected] (Alan Wm Paeth) - map projections
[email protected] (Allen W. Sherzer) - Great Exploration
[email protected] (Ron Baalke) - planetary probe schedules
[email protected] (Timothy Banks) - map projections,
variable star analysis archive
[email protected].de (Jochen Bern) - German mnemonic translation
[email protected] (Bernie Rosen) - Space Camp
[email protected] (Barry Schlesinger) - FITS format
[email protected] (Craig E. Ward) - space group contact info
[email protected] (Tom Chapin) - planetary positions
[email protected] (D. Alan Cunningham) - NASA Spacelink
[email protected] (Cliff Yamamoto) - orbital elements
[email protected] (Anthony Datri) - PDS/VICAR viewing software
[email protected] (Dave Rickel) - orbit formulae
[email protected] (Phil Fraering) - propulsion
[email protected] (Dani Eder) - Saturn V plans, SRBs
[email protected] (Eugene N. Miya) - introduction,
NASA contact info, started FAQ postings
[email protected] (Patrick M. French) - space group contact info
[email protected] (Gary Morris) - amateur radio info
[email protected] (Terry Gaetz) - N-body calculations,
[email protected] (Steve Grandi) - planetary positions
greer%utd201.dnet%[email protected] (Dale M. Greer) - constants
[email protected] (Henry Spencer) - survival in vacuum,
astronaut how-to, publication refs, DC-X
[email protected] (William Higgins) - RTGs, publishers,
shuttle landings, spysats, propulsion, "Face on Mars"
[email protected] (Hal Mueller) - map projections,
[email protected] (Josh Hopkins) - launch services
[email protected] (Jim Bowery) - propulsion, launch services
[email protected] (Jim Scotti) - planetary positions
[email protected] (Kieran A. Carroll)- refs for spacecraft design
[email protected] (Kenneth Ng) - RTGs
[email protected] (Larry Klaes) - planetary probe history
[email protected] (Jon Leech) - crater diameters
[email protected] (Lou Adornato) - orbital dynamics
[email protected] (Maury Markowitz) - propulsion
[email protected] (Erik Max Francis) - equations
[email protected] - N-body calculations
[email protected] (Marc Wayne Mcconley) - space careers
[email protected] (Mark Brader) - Mariner 1 info.
[email protected] (Mark Maimone) - SPACE Digest
[email protected] (Dr. Nick Watkins) - models, spysats
[email protected] (Olivier R. Hainaut) - publishers, STARCAT
[email protected] (Graham O'Neil) - Lunar Prospector
[email protected] (Colby Kraybill) - SPIF data archive
[email protected] (Kenneth W Durham) - cometary orbits, IAU
[email protected] (Paul Blase) - propulsion
[email protected] (Peter Scott) - RTGs
[email protected] (Paul W. Schleck) - AMSAT, ARRL contact info
[email protected] (Rodney Brown) - propulsion refs
[email protected] (Ran Atkinson) - FTPable astro. programs
[email protected] (R. Michael Jungclas)- models
[email protected] (Curt Roelle) - German mnemonic translation
[email protected] (David Seal) - Cassini mission schedule
[email protected] (Mary Shafer) - photos, shuttle landings
[email protected] (Willie Smith) - photos
[email protected] (Stephen Dixon) - shuttle audio frequencies
[email protected] (Ray Sterner) - planetary positions
[email protected] (Phil Stooke) - planetary maps
[email protected] (Ted Anderson) - propulsion
[email protected] (Terry Hancock) - NASA center info
[email protected] (Bill Thorson) - FITS info
[email protected] (Todd L. Masco) - SPACE Digest
[email protected] (Tom Horsley) - refs for algorithms
[email protected] (Veikko Makela) - orbital element sets
[email protected] (Wayne Hayes) - constants
[email protected] (Matthew P Wiener) - Voyager history
[email protected] (Yoshiro Yamada) - ISAS/NASDA missions
[email protected] (Peter Yee) - AMES archive server,
In Net memoriam:
NEXT: FAQ #2/15 - Network Resources
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:57:11 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 02/15 - Network Resources
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:06 $
You may be reading this document on any one of an amazing variety of
computers, so much of the material below may not apply to you. In
general, however, systems connected to 'the net' fall in one of three
categories: Internet, Usenet, or BITNET. Electronic mail may be sent
between these networks, and other resources available on one of these
networks are sometimes accessible from other networks by email sent to
The space and astronomy discussion groups actually are composed of
several mechanisms with (mostly) transparent connections between them.
One mechanism is the mailing list, in which mail is sent to a central
distribution point which relays it to all recipients of the list. In
addition to the general lists for space (called SPACE Digest for
Internet users, and SPACE on BITNET), there are a number of more
specialized mailing lists described below.
A second mechanism is Usenet 'netnews'. This is somewhat like a bulletin
board operating on each system which is a part of the net. Netnews
separates contributions into hundreds of different categories based on a
'group name'. The groups dealing most closely with space topics are
called 'sci.space.news', 'sci.space', 'sci.space.shuttle', 'sci.astro',
and 'talk.politics.space'. Contributors 'post' submissions (called
'articles' in netnews terminology) on their local machine, which sends
it to other nearby machines. Similarly, articles sent from nearby
machines are stored locally and may be forwarded to other systems, so
that an article is posted locally and eventually reaches all the Usenet
sites interested in receiving the news group to which the article was
Gateway machines redirect the Usenet sci.space group into Internet and
BITNET mailing lists and vice versa; the other Usenet groups are not
accessible as mailing lists. If you can receive netnews, its more
flexible interface and access to a wider range of material usually make
it the preferred option.
SPACE Digest is the main Internet list, and is now being run by the
International Space University (in only its second change of management
in over a decade). Email [email protected] (message body
should be in the format 'subscribe space John Public') to join. Note
that the moderated SPACE Magazine list is defunct at present for lack of
a moderator. Old copies of SPACE Digest since its inception in 1981 are
available by anonymous FTP. Retrieve
for further details.
Elements is a moderated list for fast distribution of Space Shuttle
Keplerian Elements before and during Shuttle flights. NASA two line
elements are sent out on the list from Dr. Kelso, JSC, and other sources
as they are released. Email to [email protected] to join.
Space-investors is a list for information relevant to investing in
space-related companies. Email Vincent Cate ([email protected]) to join.
Space-tech is a list for more technical discussion of space topics;
discussion has included esoteric propulsion technologies, asteroid
capture, starflight, orbital debris removal, etc. Email to
[email protected] to join. Archives of old digests and
selected excerpts are available by anonymous FTP from
gs80.sp.cs.cmu.edu (126.96.36.199) in /usr/anon/public/space-tech,
or by email to space-tech-request if you don't have FTP access.
SEDS-L is a BITNET list for members of Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space and other interested parties. Email
[email protected] with a message saying "SUBSCRIBE SEDS-L your
name". Email saying "INDEX SEDS-L" to list the archive contents.
SEDSNEWS is a BITNET list for news items, press releases, shuttle status
reports, and the like. This duplicates material which is also found in
Space Digest, sci.space, sci.space.shuttle, and sci.astro. Email
[email protected] saying "SUBSCRIBE SEDSNEWS your name" to join.
Email saying "INDEX SEDSNEWS" to list the archive contents.
Ron Baalke ([email protected]) runs a mailing list which
carries the contents of the sci.space.news Usenet group. Email him
to join the list.
As a general note, please mail to the *request* address to get off a
mailing list. SPACE Digest, for example, relays many inappropriate
'please remove me from this list' messages which are sent to the list
address rather than the request address.
PERIODICALLY UPDATED INFORMATION
In addition to this FAQ list, a broad variety of topical information is
posted to the net (unless otherwise noted, in the new group
sci.space.news created for this purpose). Please remember that the
individuals posting this information are performing a service for all
net readers, and don't take up their time with frivolous requests.
Garrett Wollman ([email protected]) posts an acronym list around the
first of each month.
Veikko Makela ([email protected]) posts a monthly list of
anonymous FTP servers containing astronomy and space related
material to sci.space and sci.astro.
Henry Spencer ([email protected]) posts summaries of
space-related stories in the weekly _Aviation Week and Space
Ronnie Kon ([email protected]) posts a guide to buying telescopes to
ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF THE ASA
Don Barry ([email protected]) posts the monthly Electronic Journal
of the Astronomical Society of the Atlantic to sci.astro.
Swaraj Jeyasingh ([email protected]) posts summaries of
space-related news from _Flight International_. This focuses more on
non-US space activities than Aviation Week.
LARGE ASTRONOMICAL PROJECTS
Robert Bunge ([email protected]) posts a list describing many
"Large Telescope Projects Either Being Considered or in the Works"
NASA HEADLINE NEWS & SHUTTLE REPORTS
Peter Yee ([email protected]) posts a variety of NASA material,
including NASA Headline News (with the schedule for NASA SELECT),
shuttle payload briefings and flight manifests, and KSC shuttle
status reports. For Usenet users, much of this material appears in
the group sci.space.shuttle.
Ron Baalke ([email protected]) posts frequent updates from
JPL, Ames, and other centers on the Ulysses, Gailileo, Pioneer,
Magellan, Landsat, and other missions.
ORBITAL ELEMENT SETS
TS Kelso ([email protected]) posts orbital elements from
NASA Prediction Bulletins.
Mike Rose ([email protected]) posts orbital elements for the Hubble
Space Telescope to sci.astro.
Jost Jahn ([email protected]) posts ephemerides for asteroids,
comets, conjunctions, and encounters to sci.astro.
Richard Langley ([email protected]) posts SPACEWARN Bulletin, which
describes recent launch/orbital decay information and satellites
which are useful for scientific activities. Recent bulletins are
available by anonymous FTP from nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov in
Ken Hollis ([email protected]) posts a compressed version
of the Space Shuttle launch manifest to sci.space.shuttle. This
includes dates, times, payloads, and information on how to see
launches and landings.
Cary Oler ([email protected]) posts Solar Terrestrial reports
(describing solar activity and its effect on the Earth) to
sci.space. The report is issued in part from data released by the
Space Enviroment Services Center, Boulder Colorado. The intro
document needed to understand these reports is available by
anonymous FTP from solar.stanford.edu (188.8.131.52) in
(184.108.40.206) also has this document in
/pub/misc/rec.radio.shortwave/solarreports and is an archive site
for the reports (please note this site is in Europe, and the
connection to the US is only 56KB). A new primary archive site,
xi.uleth.ca (220.127.116.11), has recently been established and will be
SOVIET SPACE ACTIVITIES
Glenn Chapman ([email protected]) posts summaries of Soviet space
SPACE ACTIVIST NEWSLETTER
Allen Sherzer ([email protected]) posts a newsletter, "One Small Step for
a Space Activist," to talk.politics.space. It describes current
legislative activity affecting NASA and commercial space activities.
SPACE EVENTS CALENDAR
Ron Baalke ([email protected]) posts a calendar including
anniversaries, conferences, launch dates, meteor showers and
eclipses, and other space-related events.
John Magliacane ([email protected]) posts "SpaceNews" (covering
AMSATs, NOAA and other weather satellites, and other ham
information) to rec.radio.amateur.misc and sci.space.
Jonathan McDowell ([email protected]) posts "Jonathan's Space
Report" covering launches, landings, reentries, status reports,
satellite activities, etc.
Bev Freed ([email protected]) posts "Toward 2001", a weekly
global news summary reprinted from _Space Calendar_ magazine.
WARNING ABOUT NON-PUBLIC NETWORKS
(Included at the suggestion of Eugene Miya, who wrote the item)
NASA has an internal system of unclassified electronic mail and bulletin
boards. This system is not open for public use. Specifically, NASA
personnel and procurement operations are regarded with some sensitivity.
Contractors must renegotiate their contracts. The Fair and Open
Procurement Act does not look kindly to those having inside information.
Contractors and outsiders caught using this type of information can
expect severe penalities. Unauthorized access attempts may subject you
to a fine and/or imprisonment in accordance with Title 18, USC, Section
1030. If in fact you should should learn of unauthorized access, contact
NEXT: FAQ #3/15 - Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:57:26 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 03/15 - Data Sources
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:00 $
ONLINE AND OTHER SOURCES OF IMAGES, DATA, ETC.
A wide variety of images, data, catalogs, information releases, and
other material dealing with space and astronomy may be found on the net.
A few sites offer direct dialup access or remote login access, while the
remainder support some form of file transfer. Many sites are listed as
providing 'anonymous FTP'. This refers to the File Transfer Protocol on
the Internet. Sites not connected to the Internet cannot use FTP
directly, but there are a few automated FTP servers which operates via
email. Send mail containing only the word HELP to [email protected]
or [email protected], and the servers will send you instructions
on how to make requests.
The sources with the broadest selection of material are the NASA Ames
SPACE archive and the National Space Science Data Center.
Don't even ask for images to be posted to the net. The data volume is
huge and nobody wants to spend the time on it.
The possible combinations of image formats and machines is forebodingly
large, and I won't attempt to cover common formats (GIF, etc.) here. To
read PDS and VICAR (and many other) formats on Unix systems running X,
use XV 2.11, available by anonymous FTP from export.lcs.mit.edu
(18.104.22.168) in contrib/xv-2.11.tar.Z and the other standard X11 FTP
The FAQ for the Usenet group alt.binaries.pictures discusses image
formats and how to get image viewing software. A copy of this document
is available by anonymous FTP from the Usenet FAQ archives at
pit-manager.mit.edu (22.214.171.124), in directory
Extensive archives are maintained at NASA Ames and are available via
anonymous FTP or an email server. These archives include many images and
a wide variety of documents including this FAQ list, NASA press
releases, shuttle launch advisories, and mission status reports. Please
note that these are NOT maintained on an official basis.
FTP users should connect to ames.arc.nasa.gov (126.96.36.199) and look in
pub/SPACE. pub/SPACE/Index contains a listing of files available in the
archive (the index is about 200K by itself).
To access the archives by email, send a letter to
[email protected] (or ames!archive-server). In the
subject of your letter (or in the body), use commands like:
send SPACE Index
send SPACE SHUTTLE/ss01.23.91.
The capitalization of the subdirectory names is important. All are in
caps. Only text files are handled by the email server at present; use
one of the FTP email servers described in the introduction to this
section for images or programs.
The Magellan Venus and Voyager Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus CD-ROM image
disks have been put online in the CDROM and CDROM2 directories. The
disks will be rotated on a weekly basis. Thousands of images are
available in these collections.
The GIF directory contains images in GIF format. The VICAR directory
contains Magellan images in VICAR format (these are also available in
the GIF directory). A PC program capable of displaying these files is
found in the IMDISP directory (see the item "VIEWING IMAGES" below).
The NASA media guide describes the various NASA centers and how to
contact their public affairs officers; this may be useful when pursuing
specific information. It's in MISC/media.guide.
Any problems with the archive server should be reported to Peter Yee
NASA ASTROPHYSICS DATA SYSTEM
The ADS is a distributed data retrieval system which is easy to use and
provides uniform access to ground-based and space-based astronomy data
from NASA data centers across the country. It currently has over 140
data catalogs of radio, infrared, optical, UV, and X-ray data which can
be queried by position or any other parameter in the catalog. The ADS
also provides tools to manipulate and plot tabular results. In addition,
ADS has a Beta version of an Abstracts Service which allows users to
query over 125,000 abstracts of astronomy papers since 1975 by authors,
keywords, title words, or abstract text words.
ADS use requires direct Internet access. For more info and to sign up to
become a user, email [email protected] The User's Guide and
"QuickStart" Guide are available by anonymous FTP to sao-ftp.harvard.edu
in directory pub/ads/ADS_User_Guide (PostScript files).
Contact Carolyn Stern Grant ([email protected]).
NASA JET PROPULSION LAB (MISSION INFORMATION AND IMAGES)
pubinfo.jpl.nasa.gov (188.8.131.52) is an anonymous FTP site operated by
the JPL Public Information Office, containing news releases, status
reports, fact sheets, images, and other data on JPL missions. It may
also be reached by modem at (818)-354-1333 (no parity, 8 data bits, 1
Contact [email protected] or phone (818)-354-7170.
NASA LANGLEY (TECHNICAL REPORTS)
techreports.larc.nasa.gov is an anonymous FTP site offering technical
reports. To get started, cd to directory pub/techreports/larc/92 and
retrieve files README and abstracts.92. Most files are compressed
Contact [email protected]
SpaceLink is an online service located at Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Alabama. The system is specifically designed for
teachers. The data base is arranged to provide easy access to current
and historical information on NASA aeronautics, space research, and
technology transfer information. Also included are suggested classroom
activities that incorporate information on NASA projects to teach a
number of scientific principles. Unlike bulletin board systems, NASA
Spacelink does not provide for interaction between callers. However it
does allow teachers and other callers to leave questions and comments
for NASA which may be answered by regular mail. Messages are answered
electronically, even to acknowledge requests which will be fulfilled by
mail. Messages are generally handled the next working day except during
missions when turnaround times increase. The mail system is closed-loop
between the user and NASA.
SpaceLink also offers downloadable shareware and public domain programs
useful for science educators as well as space graphics and GIF images
from NASA's planetary probes and the Hubble Telescope.
You can dial in at (205)-895-0028 (300/1200/2400/9600(V.32) baud, 8
bits, no parity, 1 stop bit), or telnet to spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov
(184.108.40.206, also known as xsl.msfc.nasa.gov) if you're on the
Internet. Anonymous FTP capability (password guest) is now available.
Most of this information is also available from the Ames server in
NATIONAL SPACE SCIENCE DATA CENTER (NSSDC)
The National Space Science Data Center is the official clearinghouse for
NASA data. The data catalog (*not* the data itself) is available online.
Internet users can telnet to nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov (220.127.116.11) and
log in as 'NODIS' (no password). You can also get the catalog by sending
email to '[email protected]'.
You can also dial in at (301)-286-9000 (300, 1200, or 2400 baud, 8 bits,
no parity, one stop). At the "Enter Number:" prompt, enter MD and
carriage return. When the system responds "Call Complete," enter a few
more carriage returns to get the "Username:" and log in as 'NODIS' (no
The system is menu-driven; topics available as of 4/10/92 are:
1 - Master Directory - NASA & Global Change
2 - Personnel Information Management System
3 - Nimbus-7 GRID TOMS Data
4 - Interplanetary Medium Data (OMNI)
5 - Request data and/or information from NSSDC
6 - Geophysical Models
7 - CANOPUS Newsletter
8 - International Ultraviolet Explorer Data Request
9 - CZCS Browse and Order Utility
10 - Astronomical Data Center (ADC)
11 - STEP Bulletin Board Service
12 - Standards and Technology Information System
Data can be ordered from the NSSDC on CD-ROM and other formats. Among
the many types of data available are Voyager, Magellan, and other
planetary images, Earth observation data, and star catalogs. Viewers for
Macintosh and IBM systems are also available. As an example of the cost,
an 8 CD set of Voyager images is $75. Data may ordered online, by email,
or by physical mail. The postal address is:
National Space Science Data Center
Request Coordination Office
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Telephone: (301) 286-6695
Email address: [email protected]
NSSDCA is also an anonymous FTP site, but no comprehensive list of
what's there is available at present.
SPACE AND PLANETARY IMAGE FACILITY
Available 24 hours a day via anonymous FTP from pioneer.unm.edu. Has
approximately 150 CD-ROM's full of imagery, raw, and tabular data. To
start, get the file:
This will hopefully give you all of the information you need to get data
from their machine. beginner-info has been translated to other
languages, you should look inside pub/info for the particular language
that meets your needs.
Contact [email protected]
SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE
stsci.edu (18.104.22.168) has a large amount of information about the
Hubble Space Telescope available by anonymous FTP, such as status
reports and newsletters, in addition to material oriented towards HST
observers and proposers. Get the top level README file to begin with.
Contact Pete Reppert ([email protected]) or Chris O'Dea
The Space Telescope European Coordination Facility, at ESO/Garching
provides on-line access to a huge astronomical database, featuring
- Observation log files of several satellites/telescopes
- Spectra and images (IUE, HST).
- Most of the astronomical catalogues (SAO, HR, NGC, PPM, IRAS,
Veron, GSC and many others, more than 50) in a very convenient
way (give center+radius+kind of objects, and you get the
Log on as ``starcat'' (no password) on node stesis.hq.eso.org
(22.214.171.124) or on STESIS (DECnet). The files created can be
retreived by FTP. Contact: Benoit Pirenne, [email protected] (phone +49
89 320 06 433) at ST-ECF
The full SAO stellar database is *NOT* available online, probably due to
the 40 MB size. It may be ordered on magnetic tape from the NSSDC. A
subset containing position and magnitude only is available by FTP (see
"Astronomy Programs" below).
nic.funet.fi (126.96.36.199) has a large collection of astronomical
programs for many types of computers, databases of stars and deep sky
objects, and general astronomy information in directory /pub/astro. This
site is mainly for European users, but overseas connections are
The Ames archives contain a database of 8,436 galaxies including name,
RA, declination, magnitude, and radial velocity in MISC/galaxy.dat.
Supplied by Wayne Hayes ([email protected]).
iris1.ucis.dal.ca (188.8.131.52) has a number of GIFs from Voyager,
Hubble, and other sources available by anonymous FTP in pub/gif (most of
this data is also in SPACE/GIF on the Ames server). Please restrict
access to 5pm - 8am Atlantic time.
pomona.claremont.edu has the Yale Bright Star catalog for anonymous FTP
in directory [.YALE_BSC]. Contact James Dishaw
The Hubble Guide Star catalog is available on CD-ROM for the Mac and PC
for $49.95 US (catalog # ST101).
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
390 Ashton Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94112
Phone: (415) 337-2624 9 AM - 3 PM Pacific Time
FAX: (415) 337-5205
For German (and possibly other European) readers, Jost Jahn has a
service to distribute astronomical data to interested amateurs at cost.
About 30-40 catalogs are available for DM 6..8/disk. Several floppy disk
formats are available. Because of the expense of receiving email on his
system, he asks that you contact him by physical mail:
Neustaedter Strasse 11
Various astronomy-related programs and databases posted to the net in
the past are archived for anonymous FTP at multiple sites, including
ftp.uu.net (184.108.40.206). Also see the ASTRO-FTP list posted to sci.astro
monthly, which is more complete than this list.
Astonomical/Space-related sources of interest in comp.sources.unix:
Volume 8: phoon moon phase and date routines
Volume 12,13: starchart starchart program & Yale Star data
Volume 15: moontool shows moon phase picture on Suns
Volume 16: sao reduced SAO catalog
Astonomical/Space-related sources of interest in comp.sources.misc:
Volume 8: moon another moon phase program
Volume 11: starchart starchart program, version 3.2
Volume 11: n3emo-orbit orbit: track earth satellites
Volume 12: starchart2 starchart program, update to version 3.2.1
Volume 13: jupmoons plotter for Jupiter's major moons [in perl]
Volume 13: lunisolar lunisolar (not sure what this does)
Volume 14: ephem-4.21 astronomical ephemeris, v4.21
Volume 14: n3emo-orbit patch to orbit 3.7
Volume 18: planet planet generation simulator
Elwood Downey ([email protected]), the author of
"ephem", has offered to mail copies to people who can't find it on one
of the archives.
XSAT, an X Window System based satellite tracking program, is
available by anonymous FTP from export.lcs.mit.edu (220.127.116.11) in
contrib/xsat1.0.tar.Z. Contact Dave Curry ([email protected])
for more information.
Xsky, a computerized sky atlas for the X Window System, is available for
anonymous FTP on arizona.edu in the directory [.SOFTWARE.UNIX.XSKY] as
xsky.tarz. Contact Terry R. Friedrichsen ([email protected]) for
The "Variable Stars Analysis Software Archive" is available via
anonymous FTP from kauri.vuw.ac.nz (18.104.22.168) in directory
pub/astrophys. This is intended for specialists in this field, and they
would appreciate people from outside New Zealand confining their FTP
access to the astrophys directory, as they pay a significant amount for
Internet access. Contents are relatively sparse at present due to the
youth of the archive - contributions are encouraged. Contact the archive
administrator, Timothy Banks ([email protected]) for more
The "IDL Astronomy Users Library" is available by anonymous FTP from
idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov (22.214.171.124). This is a central repository for
general purpose astronomy procedures written in IDL, a commercial image
processing, plotting, and programming language. Contact Wayne Landsman
([email protected]) for more information.
ORBITAL ELEMENT SETS
The most recent orbital elements from the NASA Prediction Bulletins are
carried on the Celestial BBS, (513)-427-0674. Documentation and tracking
software are also available on this system. The Celestial BBS may be
accessed 24 hours/day at 300, 1200, or 2400 baud using 8 data bits, 1
stop bit, no parity.
Orbital element sets are available via anonymous FTP from the
archive.afit.af.mil (126.96.36.199) NASA,TVRO,Shuttle
ftp.funet.fi (188.8.131.52) NASA,TVRO,Molczan,CelBBS,
directory: /pub/astro/pc/satel Shuttle (*)
kilroy.jpl.nasa.gov (184.108.40.206) NASA,Molczan
SPACE DIGEST ARCHIVES
Copies of back issues of Space Digest are archived on
[email protected] Send mail containing the message "INDEX SPACE" to
get an index of files; send it the message "GET filename filetype" to
get a particular file.
LANDSAT AND NASA PHOTOS
You can get black-and-white 1:1M prints, negatives, or positives for
$10, $18, $12 respectively for any Landsat data more than 2 years old
from EDC, (Eros (Earth Resources Orbiting Satellite) Data Center). Call
them at (605)-594-6511. You get 80 meter resolution from the MSS
scanner, 135x180 kilometers on a picture 135x180 mm in size. I think you
have to select one band from (green, red, near IR, second near IR), but
I'm not sure. Digitial data is also available at higher prices.
Transparencies of all NASA photos available to the public can be
borrowed from the NASA photo archive; you can have copies or prints
NASA Audio-Visual Facility
918 North Rengstorff Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
The USGS address for maps of the planets is:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Box 25286, Federal Center, Bldg. 41
Denver, CO 80225
Maps cost $2.40 to $3.10 per sheet (a few come in sets of 2 or 3 sheets).
The best global maps of Mars based on Viking images are 1:15,000,000
scale in 3 sheets. These maps are:
I-1535 (2 sheets only) - relief, albedo, names
I-1618 (3 sheets) - relief, names
I-2030 (3 sheets) - relief, topographic contours
I-1802-A,B,C (3 sheets) - geology
There are many other maps as well: 30 sheets at 1:5,000,000 scale in
relief, albedo, geology, photomosaic forms (not all 30 sheets available
in all formats); 140 sheets at 1:2,000,000 scale as photomosaics of the
whole planet, about 100 sheets of interesting sites at 1:500,000 scale
in photomosaic format, and lots of special sheets.
Then there are maps of Mercury, Venus, the Moon, the four Galilean
Satellites, six moons of Saturn and five of Uranus. [Phil Stooke
([email protected]), the author of this item, has offered to
respond to email requests for information on any topic relating to lunar
and planetary maps.]
COMETARY ORBIT DATA
The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and the Minor Planet
Center announce the sixth edition of the Catalogue of Cometary Orbits in
IAU Circular 4935. The catalogue contains 1292 entries which represent
all known comets through November 1989 and is 96 pages long.
Non-subscribers to the Circulars may purchase the catalogue for $15.00
while the cost to subscribers is $7.50. The basic catalogue in ASCII
along with a program to extract specific orbits and calculate
ephemerides is available on MS-DOS 5.25-inch 2S2D diskette at a cost of
$75.00 (the program requires an 8087 math coprocessor). The catalogue
alone is also available by e-mail for $37.50 or on magnetic tape for
Except for the printed version of the catalogue, the various magnetic
media or e-mail forms of the catalogue do not specifically meantion
non-subscribers. It is possible that these forms of the catalogue may
not be available to non-subscribers or that their prices may be more
expensive than those given. Mail requests for specific information and
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
NEXT: FAQ #4/15 - Performing calculations and interpreting data formats
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:57:45 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 04/15 - Calculations
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:04 $
PERFORMING CALCULATIONS AND INTERPRETING DATA FORMATS
COMPUTING SPACECRAFT ORBITS AND TRAJECTORIES
References that have been frequently recommended on the net are:
"Fundamentals of Astrodynamics" Roger Bate, Donald Mueller, Jerry White
1971, Dover Press, 455pp $8.95 (US) (paperback). ISBN 0-486-60061-0
NASA Spaceflight handbooks (dating from the 1960s)
SP-33 Orbital Flight Handbook (3 parts)
SP-34 Lunar Flight Handbook (3 parts)
SP-35 Planetary Flight Handbook (9 parts)
These might be found in university aeronautics libraries or ordered
through the US Govt. Printing Office (GPO), although more
information would probably be needed to order them.
M. A. Minovitch, _The Determination and Characteristics of Ballistic
Interplanetary Trajectories Under the Influence of Multiple Planetary
Attractions_, Technical Report 32-464, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, Calif., Oct, 1963.
The title says all. Starts of with the basics and works its way up.
Very good. It has a companion article:
M. Minovitch, _Utilizing Large Planetary Perubations for the Design of
Deep-Space Solar-Probe and Out of Ecliptic Trajectories_, Technical
Report 32-849, JPL, Pasadena, Calif., 1965.
You need to read the first one first to realy understand this one.
It does include a _short_ summary if you can only find the second.
Contact JPL for availability of these reports.
"Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics", Peter C. Hughes 1986, John Wiley and
"Celestial Mechanics: a computational guide for the practitioner",
Lawrence G. Taff, (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1985).
Starts with the basics (2-body problem, coordinates) and works up to
orbit determinations, perturbations, and differential corrections.
Taff also briefly discusses stellar dynamics including a short
discussion of n-body problems.
COMPUTING PLANETARY POSITIONS
More net references:
Van Flandern & Pullinen, _Low-Precision Formulae for Planetary
Positions_, Astrophysical J. Supp Series, 41:391-411, 1979. Look in an
astronomy or physics library for this; also said to be available from
Gives series to compute positions accurate to 1 arc minute for a
period + or - 300 years from now. Pluto is included but stated to
have an accuracy of only about 15 arc minutes.
_Interactive Computer Ephemeris_ (from the US Naval Observatory)
distributed on IBM-PC floppy disks, $35 (Willmann-Bell). Covers dates
"Planetary Programs and Tables from -4000 to +2800", Bretagnon & Simon
Floppy disks available separately.
"Fundamentals of Celestial Mechanics" (2nd ed), J.M.A. Danby 1988,
A good fundamental text. Includes BASIC programs; a companion set of
floppy disks is available separately.
"Astronomical Formulae for Calculators" (4th ed.), J. Meeus 1988,
"Astronomical Algorithms", J. Meeus 1991, Willmann-Bell.
If you actively use one of the editions of "Astronomical Formulae
for Calculators", you will want to replace it with "Astronomical
Algorithms". This new book is more oriented towards computers than
calculators and contains formulae for planetary motion based on
modern work by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Naval
Observatory, and the Bureau des Longitudes. The previous books were
all based on formulae mostly developed in the last century.
Algorithms available separately on diskette.
"Practical Astronomy with your Calculator" (3rd ed.), P. Duffett-Smith
1988, Cambridge University Press.
"Orbits for Amateurs with a Microcomputer", D. Tattersfield 1984,
Stanley Thornes, Ltd.
Includes example programs in BASIC.
"Orbits for Amateurs II", D. Tattersfield 1987, John Wiley & Sons.
"Astronomy / Scientific Software" - catalog of shareware, public domain,
and commercial software for IBM and other PCs. Astronomy software
includes planetarium simulations, ephemeris generators, astronomical
databases, solar system simulations, satellite tracking programs,
celestial mechanics simulators, and more.
Andromeda Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 605
Amherst, NY 14226-0605
COMPUTING CRATER DIAMETERS FROM EARTH-IMPACTING ASTEROIDS
Astrogeologist Gene Shoemaker proposes the following formula, based on
studies of cratering caused by nuclear tests.
D = S S c K W : crater diameter in km
g p f n
S = (g /g ) : gravity correction factor for bodies other than
g e t Earth, where g = 9.8 m/s^2 and g is the surface
gravity of the target body. This scaling is
cited for lunar craters and may hold true for
S = (p / p ) : correction factor for target density p ,
p a t t
p = 1.8 g/cm^3 for alluvium at the Jangle U
crater site, p = 2.6 g/cm^3 for average
rock on the continental shields.
C : crater collapse factor, 1 for craters <= 3 km
in diameter, 1.3 for larger craters (on Earth).
K : .074 km / (kT TNT equivalent)
n empirically determined from the Jangle U
nuclear test crater.
3 2 19
W = pi * d * delta * V / (12 * 4.185 * 10 )
: projectile kinetic energy in kT TNT equivalent
given diameter d, velocity v, and projectile
density delta in CGS units. delta of around 3
g/cm^3 is fairly good for an asteroid.
An RMS velocity of V = 20 km/sec may be used for Earth-crossing
Under these assumptions, the body which created the Barringer Meteor
Crater in Arizona (1.13 km diameter) would have been about 40 meters in
More generally, one can use (after Gehrels, 1985):
Asteroid Number of objects Impact probability Impact energy
diameter (km) (impacts/year) (* 5*10^20 ergs)
10 10 10^-8 10^9
1 1 000 10^-6 10^6
0.1 100 000 10^-4 10^3
assuming simple scaling laws. Note that 5*10^20 ergs = 13 000 tons TNT
equivalent, or the energy released by the Hiroshima A-bomb.
Gehrels, T. 1985 Asteroids and comets. _Physics Today_ 38, 32-41. [an
excellent general overview of the subject for the layman]
Shoemaker, E.M. 1983 Asteroid and comet bombardment of the earth. _Ann.
Rev. Earth Planet. Sci._ 11, 461-494. [very long and fairly
technical but a comprehensive examination of the
Shoemaker, E.M., J.G. Williams, E.F. Helin & R.F. Wolfe 1979
Earth-crossing asteroids: Orbital classes, collision rates with
Earth, and origin. In _Asteroids_, T. Gehrels, ed., pp. 253-282,
University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Cunningham, C.J. 1988 _Introduction to Asteroids: The Next Frontier_
(Richmond: Willman-Bell, Inc.) [covers all aspects of asteroid
studies and is an excellent introduction to the subject for people
of all experience levels. It also has a very extensive reference
list covering essentially all of the reference material in the
MAP PROJECTIONS AND SPHERICAL TRIGNOMETRY
Two easy-to-find sources of map projections are the "Encyclopaedia
Brittanica", (particularly the older volumes) and a tutorial appearing
in _Graphics Gems_ (Academic Press, 1990). The latter was written with
simplicity of exposition and suitability of digital computation in mind
(spherical trig formulae also appear, as do digitally-plotted examples).
More than you ever cared to know about map projections is in John
Snyder's USGS publication "Map Projections--A Working Manual", USGS
Professional Paper 1395. This contains detailed descriptions of 32
projections, with history, features, projection formulas (for both
spherical earth and ellipsoidal earth), and numerical test cases. It's a
neat book, all 382 pages worth. This one's $20.
You might also want the companion volume, by Snyder and Philip Voxland,
"An Album of Map Projections", USGS Professional Paper 1453. This
contains less detail on about 130 projections and variants. Formulas are
in the back, example plots in the front. $14, 250 pages.
You can order these 2 ways. The cheap, slow way is direct from USGS:
Earth Science Information Center, US Geological Survey, 507 National
Center, Reston, VA 22092. (800)-USA-MAPS. They can quote you a price and
tell you where to send your money. Expect a 6-8 week turnaround time.
A much faster way (about 1 week) is through Timely Discount Topos,
(303)-469-5022, 9769 W. 119th Drive, Suite 9, Broomfield, CO 80021. Call
them and tell them what you want. They'll quote a price, you send a
check, and then they go to USGS Customer Service Counter and pick it up
for you. Add about a $3-4 service charge, plus shipping.
A (perhaps more accessible) mapping article is:
R. Miller and F. Reddy, "Mapping the World in Pascal",
Byte V12 #14, December 1987
Contains Turbo Pascal procedures for five common map projections. A
demo program, CARTOG.PAS, and a small (6,000 point) coastline data
is available on CompuServe, GEnie, and many BBSs.
Some references for spherical trignometry are:
_Spherical Astronomy_, W.M. Smart, Cambridge U. Press, 1931.
_A Compendium of Spherical Astronomy_, S. Newcomb, Dover, 1960.
_Spherical Astronomy_, R.M. Green, Cambridge U. Press., 1985 (update
_Spherical Astronomy_, E Woolard and G.Clemence, Academic
PERFORMING N-BODY SIMULATIONS EFFICIENTLY
"Computer Simulation Using Particles"
R. W. Hockney and J. W. Eastwood
(Adam Hilger; Bristol and Philadelphia; 1988)
"The rapid evaluation of potential fields in particle systems",
MIT Press, 1988.
A breakthrough O(N) simulation method. Has been parallelized.
L. Greengard and V. Rokhlin, "A fast algorithm for particle
simulations," Journal of Computational Physics, 73:325-348, 1987.
"An O(N) Algorithm for Three-dimensional N-body Simulations", MSEE
thesis, Feng Zhao, MIT AILab Technical Report 995, 1987
J. Binney & S. Tremaine
(Princeton U. Press; Princeton; 1987)
Includes an O(N^2) FORTRAN code written by Aarseth, a pioneer in
Hierarchical (N log N) tree methods are described in these papers:
A. W. Appel, "An Efficient Program for Many-body Simulation", SIAM
Journal of Scientific and Statistical Computing, Vol. 6, p. 85,
Barnes & Hut, "A Hierarchical O(N log N) Force-Calculation
Algorithm", Nature, V324 # 6096, 4-10 Dec 1986.
L. Hernquist, "Hierarchical N-body Methods", Computer Physics
Communications, Vol. 48, p. 107, 1988.
INTERPRETING THE FITS IMAGE FORMAT
If you just need to examine FITS images, use the ppm package (see the
comp.graphics FAQ) to convert them to your preferred format. Failing
that, the basic reference for FITS may be found in the following 3
Wells, D. C., Greisen, E. W., and Harten, R. H., "FITS: a
flexible image transport system," Astronomy and Astrophysics
Supplement Series, 44, 363-370, 1981.
Grosbol, P., Harten, R. H., Greisen, E. W., and Wells, D. C.,
"Generalized extensions and blocking factors for FITS,"
Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series, 73, 359-364, 1988
Harten, R. H., Grosbol. P., Greisen, E. W., and Wells, D. C.,
"The FITS tables extension, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Supplement Series, 73, 365-372, 1988.
A DRAFT document describing FITS and the Floating Point Agreement
defining FP storage formats is available by anonymous FTP from
nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov (220.127.116.11). Get ANON_DIR:[FITS]README.;1 to
begin with. There are known to be errors and ambiguities in this
document, so it should not be used as a fundamental reference. Questions
should be sent by email to the FITS support office
([email protected]) or telephone at (301)-513-1634
A FORTRAN library for reading and writing FITS files is available by
anonymous FTP from tetra.gsfc.nasa.gov (18.104.22.168) in directory
pub/fitsio3. Contact the author, William Pence
([email protected]) for more details.
SKY (UNIX EPHEMERIS PROGRAM)
The 6th Edition of the Unix operating system came with several software
systems not distributed because of older media capacity limitations.
Included were an ephmeris, a satellite track, and speech synthesis
software. The ephmeris, sky(6), is available within AT&T and to sites
possessing a Unix source code license. The program is regarded as Unix
source code. Sky is <0.5MB. Send proof of source code license to
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
THREE-DIMENSIONAL STAR/GALAXY COORDINATES
To generate 3D coordinates of astronomical objects, first obtain an
astronomical database which specifies right ascension, declination, and
parallax for the objects. Convert parallax into distance using the
formula in part 6 of the FAQ, convert RA and declination to coordinates
on a unit sphere (see some of the references on planetary positions and
spherical trignometry earlier in this section for details on this), and
scale this by the distance.
Two databases useful for this purpose are the Yale Bright Star catalog
(sources listed in FAQ section 3) or "The Catalogue of Stars within 25
parsecs of the Sun" (in pub/SPACE/FAQ/stars.data and stars.doc on
NEXT: FAQ #5/15 - References on specific areas
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:57:52 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 05/15 - References
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:10 $
REFERENCES ON SPECIFIC AREAS
PUBLISHERS OF SPACE/ASTRONOMY MATERIAL
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
1290 24th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122
More expensive but better organized slide sets.
Cambridge University Press
32 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022
P.O. Box 152528
San Diego, CA 92115
An excellent source of all kinds of space publications. They publish
a number of catalogs, including:
Aviation and Space, 1945-1962
Aviation and Space, 1962-1990
Space and Related Titles
European Southern Observatory
Information and Photographic Service
Dr R.M. West
Karl Scharzschild Strasse 2
D-8046 Garching bei Munchen
Slide sets, posters, photographs, conference proceedings.
Finley Holiday Film Corporation
12607 East Philadelphia Street
Whittier, California 90601
Wide selection of Apollo, Shuttle, Viking, and Voyager slides at ~50
cents/slide. Call for a catalog.
Hansen Planetarium (Utah)
Said to hold sales on old slide sets. Look in Sky & Telescope
for contact info.
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3303 NASA Road One
Houston, TX 77058-4399
Technical, geology-oriented slide sets, with supporting
John Wiley & Sons
605 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10158-0012
Sky Publishing Corporation
PO Box 9111
Belmont, MA 02178-9111
Offers "Sky Catalogue 2000.0" on PC floppy with information
(including parallax) for 45000 stars.
University of Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2N 1N4
Offers a 40-slide set called "Mapping the Planets" illustrating
recent work in planetary cartography, comes with a booklet and
information on getting your own copies of the maps. $50 Canadian,
Superintendent of Documents
US Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20402
P. O. Box 28130
San Diego, Ca. 92128
Publishers for the American Astronomical Society.
US Naval Observatory
202-653-1079 (USNO Bulletin Board via modem)
202-653-1545 Nautical Almanac Office (info on the Interactive
P.O. Box 35025
Richmond, Virginia 23235 USA
(804)-320-7016 9-5 EST M-F
CAREERS IN THE SPACE INDUSTRY
In 1990 the Princeton Planetary Society published the first edition of
"Space Jobs: The Guide to Careers in Space-Related Fields." The
publication was enormously successful: we distributed 2000 copies to
space enthusiasts across the country and even sent a few to people in
Great Britain, Australia, and Ecuador. Due to the tremendous response to
the first edition, PPS has published an expanded, up-to-date second
edition of the guide.
The 40-page publication boasts 69 listings for summer and full-time job
opportunities as well as graduate school programs. The second edition of
"Space Jobs" features strategies for entering the space field and
describes positions at consulting and engineering firms, NASA, and
non-profit organizations. The expanded special section on graduate
schools highlights a myriad of programs ranging from space manufacturing
to space policy. Additional sections include tips on becoming an
astronaut and listings of NASA Space Grant Fellowships and Consortia, as
well as NASA Centers for the Commercial Development of Space.
To order send check or money order made payable to Princeton Planetary
Society for $4 per copy, plus $1 per copy for shipping and handling
(non-US customers send an International Money Order payable in US
Princeton Planetary Society
315 West College
Princeton, NJ 08544
DC-X SINGLE-STAGE TO ORBIT (SSTO) PROGRAM
SDI's SSRT (Single Stage Rocket Technology) project has funded a
suborbital technology demonstrator called DC-X that should fly in
mid-1993. Further development towards an operational single-stage to
orbit vehicle is uncertain at present; for considerably more detail on
the SSRT program, get the document
by anonymous FTP or through the email server.
LLNL "GREAT EXPLORATION"
The LLNL "Great Exploration", a plan for an on-the-cheap space station,
Lunar base, and Mars mission using inflatable space structures, excited
a lot of interest on the net and still comes up from time to time. Some
references cited during net discussion were:
Avation Week Jan 22, 1990 for an article on the overall Great
NASA Assessment of the LLNL Space Exploration Proposal and LLNL
Responses by Dr. Lowell Wood LLNL Doc. No. SS 90-9. Their address
is: PO Box 808 Livermore, CA 94550 (the NASA authors are unknown).
Briefing slides of a presentation to the NRC last December may be
available. Write LLNL and ask.
Conceptual Design Study for Modular Inflatable Space Structures, a
final report for purchase order B098747 by ILC Dover INC. I don't
know how to get this except from LLNL or ILC Dover. I don't have an
address for ILC.
Lunar Exploration Inc. (LEI) is a non-profit corporation working on a
privately funded lunar polar orbiter. Lunar Prospector is designed to
perform a geochemical survey and search for frozen volatiles at the
poles. A set of reference files describing the project is available in
LUNAR SCIENCE AND ACTIVITIES
Grant H Heiken, David T Vaniman, and Bevan M French (editors), "Lunar
Sourcebook, A User's Guide to the Moon", Cambridge University Press
1991, ISBN 0-521-33444-6; hardcover; expensive. A one-volume
encyclopedia of essentially everything known about the Moon, reviewing
current knowledge in considerable depth, with copious references. Heavy
emphasis on geology, but a lot more besides, including considerable
discussion of past lunar missions and practical issues relevant to
future mission design. *The* reference book for the Moon; all others are
Wendell Mendell (ed), "Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st
Century", $15. "Every serious student of lunar bases *must* have this
book" - Bill Higgins. Available from:
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3303 NASA Road One
Houston, TX 77058-4399
If you want to order books, call (713)486-2172.
Thomas A. Mutch, "Geology of the Moon: A Stratigraphic View", Princeton
University Press, 1970. Information about the Lunar Orbiter missions,
including maps of the coverage of the lunar nearside and farside by
"Space in Miniature #2: Gemini" by
Michael J. Mackowski
1621 Waterwood Lane, St. Louis, MO 63146
Only 34pp but enough pictures & diagrams to interest more than just the
modelling community, I feel.
Marco's Miniatures of Dracut, Mass. have produced a 1/144 Skylab in an
edition of 500 & a 1/48 Lunar Rover (same scale as Monogram and Revell
Lunar Modules) in a similar edition. Prices are $45 for Skylab, $24 for
LRV. Check with them for postage etc. I have no connection with them,
but have found their service to be good and their stock of rare/old kits
*is* impressive. Prices range from reasonable ($35 for Monogram 1/32
scale Apollo CSM with cutaway details) to spectacular ($145 for Airfix
Four Star Collectibles
P.O. Box 658
Dracut Mass 01826, USA.
Voyager, HST, Viking, Lunar Rover etc. kits from:
Rowlett, Texas 75088
As reviewed by Bob Kaplow:
Peter Alway's book "Scale Model Rocketry" is now available. Mine
arrived in the mail earlier this week. To get your own copy, send
$19.95 + $2.50 s/h ($22.45 total) to:
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The book includes information on collecting scale data, construction
of scale models, and several handy tables. Appendicies include plans
for 3 sport scale models, a 1:9.22 D Region Tomahawk (BT50), a 1/40
V-2 (BT60), and a 1/9.16 Aerobee 150A (BT55/60).
I've only begun to study the book, but it certainly will be a
valuable data source for many modellers. Most vehicles include
several paragraphs of text describing the missions flown by the
rocket, various specs including "NAR" engine classification, along
with a dimensioned drawing, color layouts & paint pattern, and a
black & white photograph.
The vehicles included are the Aerobee 150A, Aerobee 300, Aerobee Hi,
Arcas, Asp, Astrobee 1500, Astrobee D, Atlas Centaur, Atlas-Agena,
Atlas-Score, Baby WAC, D-Region Tomahawk, Deacon Rockoon, Delta B,
Delta E, Gemini-Titan II, Iris, Javelin, Juno 1, Juno 2, Little Joe
1, Little Joe 2, Mercury-Atlas, Mercury-Redstone, Nike-Apache,
Nike-Asp, Nike-Cajun, Nike-Deacon, Nike-Tomahawk, RAM B, Saturn 1
Block 1, Saturn 1 Block 2, Saturn 1B, Saturn 5, Scout, Standard
Aerobee, Terrapin, Thor-Able, Titan III C, Titan III E, Trailblazer
1, V-2, Vanguard, Viking Model 1, Viking Model 2, and Wac Corporal.
George P. Sutton, "Rocket Propulsion Elements", 5th edn,
Wiley-Interscience 1986, ISBN 0-471-80027-9. Pricey textbook. The
best (nearly the only) modern introduction to the technical side of
rocketry. A good place to start if you want to know the details. Not
for the math-shy. Straight chemical rockets, essentially nothing on
more advanced propulsion (although earlier editions reportedly had
Dieter K. Huzel and David H. Huang, "Design of Liquid Propellant
Rocket Engines", NASA SP-125.
NTIS N71-29405 PC A20/MF A01 1971 461p
Out of print; reproductions may be obtained through the NTIS
(expensive). The complete and authoritative guide to designing
liquid-fuel engines. Reference #1 in most chapters of Sutton. Heavy
emphasis on practical issues, what works and what doesn't, what the
typical values of the fudge factors are. Stiff reading, massive
detail; written for rocket engineers by rocket engineers.
Brij N. Agrawal, "Design of Geosynchronous Spacecraft",
Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-200114-4.
James R. Wertz ed, "Spacecraft Attitude Determination and
Control", Kluwer, ISBN 90-277-1204-2.
P.R.K. Chetty, "Satellite Technology and its Applications",
McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-8306-9688-1.
James R. Wertz and Wiley J. Larson (editors), "Space Mission
Analysis and Design", Kluwer Academic Publishers
(Dordrecht/Boston/London) 1991, ISBN 0-7923-0971-5 (paperback), or
This looks at system-level design of a spacecraft, rather than
detailed design. 23 chapters, 4 appendices, about 430 pages. It
leads the reader through the mission design and system-level
design of a fictitious earth-observation satellite, to
illustrate the principles that it tries to convey. Warning:
although the book is chock-full of many useful reference tables,
some of the numbers in at least one of those tables (launch
costs for various launchers) appear to be quite wrong. Can be
ordered by telephone, using a credit card; Kluwer's phone number
is (617)-871-6600. Cost $34.50.
ESOTERIC PROPULSION SCHEMES (SOLAR SAILS, LASERS, FUSION...)
This needs more and more up-to-date references, but it's a start.
"Antiproton Annihilation Propulsion", Robert Forward
AFRPL TR-85-034 from the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory
(AFRPL/XRX, Stop 24, Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93523-5000).
NTIS AD-A160 734/0 PC A10/MF A01
PC => Paper copy, A10 => $US57.90 -- or maybe Price Code?
MF => MicroFiche, A01 => $US13.90
Technical study on making, holding, and using antimatter for
near-term (30-50 years) propulsion systems. Excellent
bibliography. Forward is the best-known proponent
This also may be available as UDR-TR-85-55 from the contractor,
the University of Dayton Research Institute, and DTIC AD-A160
from the Defense Technical Information Center, Defense Logistics
Agency, Cameron Station, Alexandria, VA 22304-6145. And it's
also available from the NTIS, with yet another number.
"Advanced Space Propulsion Study, Antiproton and Beamed Power
Propulsion", Robert Forward
AFAL TR-87-070 from the Air Force Astronautics Laboratory, DTIC
NTIS AD-A189 218/1 PC A10/MF A01
Summarizes the previous paper, goes into detail on beamed power
systems including " 1) pellet, microwave, and laser beamed power
systems for intersteller transport; 2) a design for a
near-relativistic laser-pushed lightsail using near-term laser
technology; 3) a survey of laser thermal propulsion, tether
transportation systems, antiproton annihilation propulsion,
exotic applications of solar sails, and laser-pushed
interstellar lightsails; 4) the status of antiproton
annihilation propulsion as of 1986; and 5) the prospects for
obtaining antimatter ions heavier than antiprotons." Again,
there is an extensive bibliography.
"Application of Antimatter - Electric Power to Interstellar
Propulsion", G. D. Nordley, JBIS Interstellar Studies issue of
BUSSARD RAMJETS AND RELATED METHODS:
G. L. Matloff and A. J. Fennelly, "Interstellar Applications and
Limitations of Several Electrostatic/Electromagnetic Ion Collection
Techniques", JBIS 30 (1977):213-222
N. H. Langston, "The Erosion of Interstellar Drag Screens", JBIS 26
C. Powell, "Flight Dynamics of the Ram-Augmented Interstellar
Rocket", JBIS 28 (1975):553-562
A. R. Martin, "The Effects of Drag on Relativistic Spacefight", JBIS
"A Laser Fusion Rocket for Interplanetary Propulsion", Roderick Hyde,
LLNL report UCRL-88857. (Contact the Technical Information Dept. at
Fusion Pellet design: Fuel selection. Energy loss mechanisms.
Pellet compression metrics. Thrust Chamber: Magnetic nozzle.
Shielding. Tritium breeding. Thermal modeling. Fusion Driver
(lasers, particle beams, etc): Heat rejection. Vehicle Summary:
Mass estimates. Vehicle Performance: Interstellar travel
required exhaust velocities at the limit of fusion's capability.
Interplanetary missions are limited by power/weight ratio.
Trajectory modeling. Typical mission profiles. References,
including the 1978 report in JBIS, "Project Daedalus", and
several on ICF and driver technology.
"Fusion as Electric Propulsion", Robert W. Bussard, Journal of
Propulsion and Power, Vol. 6, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1990
Fusion rocket engines are analyzed as electric propulsion
systems, with propulsion thrust-power-input-power ratio (the
thrust-power "gain" G(t)) much greater than unity. Gain values
of conventional (solar, fission) electric propulsion systems are
always quite small (e.g., G(t)<0.8). With these, "high-thrust"
interplanetary flight is not possible, because system
acceleration (a(t)) capabilities are always less than the local
gravitational acceleration. In contrast, gain values 50-100
times higher are found for some fusion concepts, which offer
"high-thrust" flight capability. One performance example shows a
53.3 day (34.4 powered; 18.9 coast), one-way transit time with
19% payload for a single-stage Earth/Mars vehicle. Another shows
the potential for high acceleration (a(t)=0.55g(o)) flight in
"The QED Engine System: Direct Electric Fusion-Powered Systems for
Aerospace Flight Propulsion" by Robert W. Bussard, EMC2-1190-03,
available from Energy/Matter Conversion Corp., 9100 A. Center
Street, Manassas, VA 22110.
[This is an introduction to the application of Bussard's version
of the Farnsworth/Hirsch electrostatic confinement fusion
technology to propulsion. 1500
1969 but it was dropped when panic ensued over the surprising
stability of the Soviet Tokamak. Hirsch, responsible for the
panic, has recently recanted and is back working on QED. -- Jim
"PLASMAKtm Star Power for Energy Intensive Space Applications", by
Paul M. Koloc, Eight ANS Topical Meeting on Technology of Fusion
Energy, special issue FUSION TECHNOLOGY, March 1989.
Aneutronic energy (fusion with little or negligible neutron
flux) requires plasma pressures and stable confinement times
larger than can be delivered by current approaches. If plasma
pressures appropriate to burn times on the order of milliseconds
could be achieved in aneutronic fuels, then high power densities
and very compact, realtively clean burning engines for space and
other special applications would be at hand. The PLASMAKtm
innovation will make this possible; its unique pressure
efficient structure, exceptional stability, fluid-mechanically
compressible Mantle and direct inductive MHD electric power
conversion advantages are described. Peak burn densities of tens
of megawats per cc give it compactness even in the
multi-gigawatt electric output size. Engineering advantages
indicate a rapid development schedule at very modest cost. [I
strongly recommend that people take this guy seriously. Bob
Hirsch, the primary proponent of the Tokamak, has recently
declared Koloc's PLASMAKtm precursor, the spheromak, to be one
of 3 promising fusion technologies that should be pursued rather
than Tokamak. Aside from the preceeding appeal to authority, the
PLASMAKtm looks like it finally models ball-lightning with solid
MHD physics. -- Jim Bowery]
Retrieve files pub/SPACE/SPACELINK/6.5.2.* from the Ames SPACE
archive; these deal with many aspects of ion drives and describe the
SERT I and II missions, which flight-tested cesium ion thrusters in
the 1960s and 70s. There are numerous references.
MASS DRIVERS (COILGUNS, RAILGUNS):
IEEE Transactions on Magnetics (for example, v. 27 no. 1, January
1991 issue). Every so often they publish the proceedings of the
Symposium on Electromagnetic Launcher Technology, including hundreds
of papers on the subject. It's a good look at the state of the art,
though perhaps not a good tutorial for beginners. Anybody know some
good review papers?
NUCLEAR ROCKETS (FISSION):
"Technical Notes on Nuclear Rockets", by Bruce W. Knight and Donald
Kingsbury, unpublished. May be available from: Donald Kingsbury,
Math Dept., McGill University, PO Box 6070, Station A, Montreal,
Quebec M3C 3G1 Canada.
Starsailing. Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel. Louis Friedman,
Wiley, New York, 1988, 146 pp., paper $9.95. (Not very technical,
but an adequate overview.)
"Roundtrip Interstellar Travel Using Laser-Pushed Lightsails
(Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, vol. 21, pp. 187-95, Jan.-Feb.
_Tethers and Asteroids for Artificial Gravity Assist in the Solar
System,_ by P.A. Penzo and H.L. Mayer., _Journal of Spacecraft
and Rockets_ for Jan-Feb 1986.
Details how a spacecraft with a kevlar tether of the same mass
can change its velocity by up to slightly less than 1 km/sec. if
it is travelling under that velocity wrt a suitable asteroid.
"Alternate Propulsion Energy Sources", Robert Forward
NTIS AD-B088 771/1 PC A07/MF A01 Dec 83 138p
Keywords: Propulsion energy, metastable helium, free-radical
hydrogen, solar pumped (sic) plasmas, antiproton annihiliation,
ionospheric lasers, solar sails, perforated sails, microwave
sails, quantum fluctuations, antimatter rockets... It's a wide,
if not deep, look at exotic energy sources which might be useful
for space propulsion. It also considers various kinds of laser
propulsion, metallic hydrogen, tethers, and unconventional
nuclear propulsion. The bibliographic information, pointing to
the research on all this stuff, belongs on every daydreamer's
Future Magic. Dr. Robert L. Forward, Avon, 1988. ISBN 0-380-89814-4.
Nontechnical discussion of tethers, antimatter, gravity control,
and even futher-out topics.
*Deep Black*, by William Burrows;
"best modern general book for spysats."
1) A Base For Debate: The US Satellite Station at Nurrungar, Des Ball,
Allen and Unwin Australia, 1987 ISBN 0 04 355027 4 [ covers DSP early
2) Pine Gap: Australia and the US Geostationary Signals intelligence
satellite program, Des Ball, Allen and Unwin Australia, 1988 ISBN 0 04
363002 5. [covers RHYOLITE/AQUACADE, CHALET/VORTEX, and MAGNUM signals
3) Guardians: Strategic Reconnaissance Satellites, Curtis Peebles, 1987,
Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 17654 [ good on MOL, military Salyut and Soviet
satellites, less so on others. Tends to believe what he's told so flaws
in discussion of DSP, RHYOLITE et al..]
4) America's Secret Eyes In Space: The Keyhole Spy Satellite Program,
Jeffrey Richelson, 1990, Harper and Row, ISBN 0 88730 285 8 [ in a class
of its own, *the* historical reference on the KEYHOLE satellites]
5) Secret Sentries in Space, Philip J Klass, 1971.
"long out of print but well worth a look"
SPACE SHUTTLE COMPUTER SYSTEMS
%J Communications of the ACM
%D September 1984
%K Special issue on space [shuttle] computers
%A Myron Kayton
%T Avionics for Manned Spacecraft
%J IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
%D November 1989
Other various AIAA and IEEE publications.
Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience
James E. Tomayko
SETI COMPUTATION (SIGNAL PROCESSING)
%A D. K. Cullers
%A Ivan R. Linscott
%A Bernard M. Oliver
%T Signal Processing in SETI
%J Communications of the ACM
%D November 1984
%K CR Categories and Subject Descriptors: D.4.1 [Operating Systems]:
Process Management - concurrency; I.5.4 [Pattern Recognition]:
Applications - signal processing; J.2 [Phsyical Sciences and Engineering]:
General Terms: Design
Additional Key Words and Phrases: digital Fourier transforms,
finite impulse-response filters, interstellar communications,
Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, signal detection,
AMATEUR SATELLIES & WEATHER SATELLITES
A fairly long writeup on receiving and interpreting weather satellite
photos is available from the Ames SPACE archive in
The American Radio Relay League publication service offers the following
references (also see the section on AMSAT in the space groups segment of
ARRL Satellite Experimenters Handbook, #3185, $20
ARRL Weather Satellite Handbook, #3193, $20
IBM-PC software for Weather Satellite Handbook, #3290, $10
AMSAT NA 5th Space Symposium, #0739, $12
AMSAT NA 6th Space Symposium, #2219, $12
Shipping is extra.
The American Radio Relay League
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111
Srinivas Bettadpur contributed a writeup on tides, available from the
Ames SPACE archive in pub/SPACE/FAQ/Tides. It covers the following
- 2-D Example of Tidal Deformation
- Treatment of Tidal Fields in Practice
- Long term evolution of the Earth-Moon system under tides
The writeup refers to the following texts:
"Geophysical Geodesy" by K. Lambeck
"Tides of the planet Earth" by P. Melchior
NEXT: FAQ #6/15 - Constants and equations for calculations
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:19 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 06/15 - Constants and Equations
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:16:58 $
CONSTANTS AND EQUATIONS FOR CALCULATIONS
This list was originally compiled by Dale Greer. Additions would be
Numbers in parentheses are approximations that will serve for most
Unix systems provide the 'units' program, useful in converting
between different systems (metric/English, etc.)
7726 m/s (8000) -- Earth orbital velocity at 300 km altitude
3075 m/s (3000) -- Earth orbital velocity at 35786 km (geosync) 6378 km (6400) -- Mean radius of Earth
1738 km (1700) -- Mean radius of Moon
5.974e24 kg (6e24) -- Mass of Earth
7.348e22 kg (7e22) -- Mass of Moon
1.989e30 kg (2e30) -- Mass of Sun
3.986e14 m^3/s^2 (4e14) -- Gravitational constant times mass of Earth
4.903e12 m^3/s^2 (5e12) -- Gravitational constant times mass of Moon
1.327e20 m^3/s^2 (13e19) -- Gravitational constant times mass of Sun
384401 km ( 4e5) -- Mean Earth-Moon distance
1.496e11 m (15e10) -- Mean Earth-Sun distance (Astronomical Unit)
1 megaton (MT) TNT = about 4.2e15 J or the energy equivalent of
about .05 kg (50 gm) of matter. Ref: J.R Williams, "The Energy Level
of Things", Air Force Special Weapons Center (ARDC), Kirtland Air
Force Base, New Mexico, 1963. Also see "The Effects of Nuclear
Weapons", compiled by S. Glasstone and P.J. Dolan, published by the
US Department of Defense (obtain from the GPO).
Where d is distance, v is velocity, a is acceleration, t is time.
Additional more specialized equations are available from:
For constant acceleration
d = d0 + vt + .5at^2
v = v0 + at
v^2 = 2ad
Acceleration on a cylinder (space colony, etc.) of radius r and
rotation period t:
a = 4 pi**2 r / t^2
For circular Keplerian orbits where:
Vc = velocity of a circular orbit
Vesc = escape velocity
M = Total mass of orbiting and orbited bodies
G = Gravitational constant (defined below)
u = G * M (can be measured much more accurately than G or M)
K = -G * M / 2 / a
r = radius of orbit (measured from center of mass of system)
V = orbital velocity
P = orbital period
a = semimajor axis of orbit
Vc = sqrt(M * G / r)
Vesc = sqrt(2 * M * G / r) = sqrt(2) * Vc
V^2 = u/a
P = 2 pi/(Sqrt(u/a^3))
K = 1/2 V**2 - G * M / r (conservation of energy)
The period of an eccentric orbit is the same as the period
of a circular orbit with the same semi-major axis.
Change in velocity required for a plane change of angle phi in a
delta V = 2 sqrt(GM/r) sin (phi/2)
Energy to put mass m into a circular orbit (ignores rotational
velocity, which reduces the energy a bit).
GMm (1/Re - 1/2Rcirc)
Re = radius of the earth
Rcirc = radius of the circular orbit.
Classical rocket equation, where
dv = change in velocity
Isp = specific impulse of engine
Ve = exhaust velocity
x = reaction mass
m1 = rocket mass excluding reaction mass
g = 9.80665 m / s^2
Ve = Isp * g
dv = Ve * ln((m1 + x) / m1)
= Ve * ln((final mass) / (initial mass))
Relativistic rocket equation (constant acceleration)
t (unaccelerated) = c/a * sinh(a*t/c)
d = c**2/a * (cosh(a*t/c) - 1)
v = c * tanh(a*t/c)
Relativistic rocket with exhaust velocity Ve and mass ratio MR:
at/c = Ve/c * ln(MR), or
t (unaccelerated) = c/a * sinh(Ve/c * ln(MR))
d = c**2/a * (cosh(Ve/C * ln(MR)) - 1)
v = c * tanh(Ve/C * ln(MR))
Converting from parallax to distance:
d (in parsecs) = 1 / p (in arc seconds)
d (in astronomical units) = 206265 / p
f=ma -- Force is mass times acceleration
w=fd -- Work (energy) is force times distance
Atmospheric density varies as exp(-mgz/kT) where z is altitude, m is
molecular weight in kg of air, g is local acceleration of gravity, T
is temperature, k is Bolztmann's constant. On Earth up to 100 km,
d = d0*exp(-z*1.42e-4)
where d is density, d0 is density at 0km, is approximately true, so
[email protected] (40000 ft) = d0*.18
[email protected] km (30000 ft) = d0*.27
[email protected] km (20000 ft) = d0*.43
[email protected] km (10000 ft) = d0*.65
Titius-Bode Law for approximating planetary distances:
R(n) = 0.4 + 0.3 * 2^N Astronomical Units (N = -infinity for
Mercury, 0 for Venus, 1 for Earth, etc.)
This fits fairly well except for Neptune.
6.62618e-34 J-s (7e-34) -- Planck's Constant "h"
1.054589e-34 J-s (1e-34) -- Planck's Constant / (2 * PI), "h bar"
1.3807e-23 J/K (1.4e-23) - Boltzmann's Constant "k"
5.6697e-8 W/m^2/K (6e-8) -- Stephan-Boltzmann Constant "sigma"
6.673e-11 N m^2/kg^2 (7e-11) -- Newton's Gravitational Constant "G"
0.0029 m K (3e-3) -- Wien's Constant "sigma(W)"
3.827e26 W (4e26) -- Luminosity of Sun
1370 W / m^2 (1400) -- Solar Constant (intensity at 1 AU)
6.96e8 m (7e8) -- radius of Sun
1738 km (2e3) -- radius of Moon
299792458 m/s (3e8) -- speed of light in vacuum "c"
9.46053e15 m (1e16) -- light year
206264.806 AU (2e5) -- \
3.2616 light years (3) -- --> parsec
3.0856e16 m (3e16) -- /
Black Hole radius (also called Schwarzschild Radius):
2GM/c^2, where G is Newton's Grav Constant, M is mass of BH,
c is speed of light
Things to add (somebody look them up!)
Basic rocketry numbers & equations
Energy to put a pound into orbit or accelerate to interstellar
Atmosphere scale height for various planets.
NEXT: FAQ #7/15 - Astronomical Mnemonics
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:24 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 07/15 - Astronomical Mnemonics
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:06 $
ASTRONOMICAL MNEMONICS (This is the last FAQ section posted to sci.astro)
Gathered from various flurries of mnemonic postings on sci.astro.
Spectral classification sequence: O B A F G K M R N S
Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me Right Now, Sweetheart. (a classic)
O'Dell's Big Astronomical Fiasco Gonna Kill Me Right Now Surely
Obese Balding Astronomy Found Guilty; Killed Many Reluctant
Octopus Brains, A Favorite Gastronomical Kitchen Menu,
Requires No Sauce
Odd Ball Astronomers Find Generally Kooky Mnemonics
Really Nifty Stuff
Oh Big And Ferocious Gorilla, Kill My Roomate Next Saturday
Oh Boy, A Flash! Godzilla Kills Mothra! Really Not Surprising!
Oh Boy, An F Grade Kills Me
On Bad Afternoons Fermented Grapes Keep Mrs. Richard Nixon Smiling
On, Backward Astronomer, Forget Geocentricity; Kepler's Motions
Reveal Nature's Simplicity
Our Bad Astronomy Faculty Gets Killed Monday
Oven Baked Ants, Fried Gently, Kept Moist, Retain Natural Succulence
Overseas Broadcast: A Flash! Godzilla kills Mothra!
(Rodan Named Successor)
Overweight Boys and Fat Girls Keep Munching
Only Bored Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics
Oh Bloody Astronomy! F Grades Kill Me
Order of the planets:
My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas
Mother Very Thoughtfully Made A Jelly Sandwich Under No Protest
My Very Erotic Mate Joyfully Satisfies Unusual Needs Passionately
Men Very Easily Make Jugs Serve Useful Nocturnal Purposes
Man Very Early Made A Jug Serve Useful Noble Purposes
My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets
My Very Eager Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets
My Very Exhausted Mother hAs Just Swept Up a Planetary Nebula
Most Voters Earn Money Just Showing Up Near Polls
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizza-pies
Many Viscious Elephants Made John, Suzy and Uncle Need Protection
Solar Mass Very Easily Makes All Jupiter's Satellites Undergo
Mein Vater erklaert mir jeden Sonntag unsere niedlichen Planeten
(My Father explains to me every Sunday our nine planets)
Man verachte einen Menschen in seinem Unglueck nie -- Punkt
(Never scorn/despise a person in his misfortune/bad luck/misery
Colors of the spectrum: Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet
ROY G. BIV (pronounce as a man's name)
Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain
Read Out Your Good Book In Verse
Galilean Satellite of Jupiter: Io Europa Ganymede Callisto
I Expect God Cries
I Eat Green Cheese
I Embarrass Good Christians
Ich erschrecke all guten Christen
(I scare all good Christians)
MET DR THIP
Miriam's Enchiladas Taste Divine Recently. Tell Her I'm Proud.
(Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion,
Mispronunciations Afflict Uranus Too Often
My Angel Uriel Takes Opium
(Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon)
NOTE: the remaining FAQ sections do not appear in sci.astro, as they cover
material of relevance only to sci.space.
NEXT: FAQ #8/15 - Contacting NASA, ESA, and other space agencies/companies
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:27 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 08/15 - Addresses
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 12:14:33 $
CONTACTING NASA, ESA, AND OTHER SPACE AGENCIES/COMPANIES
Many space activities center around large Government or International
Bureaucracies. In the US that means NASA. If you have basic information
requests: (e.g., general PR info, research grants, data, limited tours, and
ESPECIALLY SUMMER EMPLOYMENT (typically resumes should be ready by Jan. 1),
etc.), consider contacting the nearest NASA Center to answer your questions.
EMail typically will not get you any where, computers are used by
investigators, not PR people. The typical volume of mail per Center is a
multiple of 10,000 letters a day. Seek the Public Information Office at one
of the below, this is their job:
NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is the
civilian space agency of of the United States Federal Government.
It reports directly to the White House and is not a Cabinet
post such as the military Department of Defense. Its 20K+ employees
are civil servants and hence US citizens. Another 100K+ contractors
also work for NASA.
NASA Headquarters (NASA HQ)
Washington DC 20546
Ask them questions about policy, money, and things of political
nature. Direct specific questions to the appropriate center.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)
Moffett Field, CA 94035
Some aeronautical research, atmosphere reentry, Mars and Venus
planetary atmospheres. "Lead center" for Helicopter research,
V/STOL, etc. Runs Pioneer series of space probes.
NASA Ames Research Center
Dryden Flight Research Facility [DFRF]
P. O. Box 273
Edwards, CA 93523
Aircraft, mostly. Tested the shuttle orbiter landing
characteristics. Developed X-1, D-558, X-3, X-4, X-5, XB-70, and of
course, the X-15.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Greenbelt, MD 20771
[Outside of Washington DC]
Earth orbiting unmanned satellites and sounding rockets. Developed
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109
The "heavies" in planetary research probes and other unmanned
projects (they also had a lot to do with IRAS). They run Voyager,
Magellan, Galileo, and will run Cassini, CRAF, etc. etc.. For
images, probe navigation, and other info about unmanned exploration,
this is the place to go.
JPL is run under contract for NASA by the nearby California
Institute of Technology, unlike the NASA centers above. This
distinction is subtle but critical. JPL has different requirements
for unsolicited research proposals and summer hires. For instance in
the latter, an SF 171 is useless. Employees are Caltech employees,
contractors, and for the most part have similar responsibilities.
They offer an alternative to funding after other NASA Centers.
NASA Johnson Manned Space Center (JSC)
Houston, TX 77058
JSC manages Space Shuttle, ground control of manned missions.
Astronaut training. Manned mission simulators.
NASA Kennedy Space Flight Center (KSC)
Titusville, FL 32899
Space launch center. You know this one.
NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC)
Hampton, VA 23665
[Near Newport News, VA]
Original NASA site. Specializes in theoretical and experimental
flight dynamics. Viking. Long Duration Exposure Facility.
NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC)
21000 Brookpark Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44135
Aircraft/Rocket propulsion. Space power generation. Materials
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Huntsville, AL 35812
Development, production, delivery of Solid Rocket Boosters, External
Tank, Orbiter main engines. Propulsion and launchers.
Michoud Assembly Facility
New Orleans, LA 70129
Shuttle external tanks are produced here; formerly Michoud produced
first stages for the Saturn V.
Stennis Space Center
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi 39529
Space Shuttle main engines are tested here, as were Saturn V first
and second stages. The center also does remote-sensing and
Wallops Flight Center
Wallops Island, VA 23337
Aeronautical research, sounding rockets, Scout launcher.
Manager, Technology Utilization Office
NASA Scientific and Technical Information Facility
Post Office Box 8757
Baltimore, Maryland 21240
Specific requests for software must go thru COSMIC at the Univ. of
Georgia, NASA's contracted software redistribution service. You can
reach them at [email protected]
NOTE: Foreign nationals requesting information must go through their
Embassies in Washington DC. These are facilities of the US Government
and are regarded with some degree of economic sensitivity. Centers
cannot directly return information without high Center approval. Allow
at least 1 month for clearance. This includes COSMIC.
The US Air Force Space Command can be contacted thru the Pentagon along with
other Department of Defense offices. They have unacknowledged offices in
Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, Colorado Springs, and other locations. They have
a budget which rivals NASA in size.
Boulevard de l'Europe
91006 Evry Cedex
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 875
Washington, DC 20006
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA)
955 L'Enfant Plaza S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024
NATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NASDA)
4-1 Hamamatsu-Cho, 2 Chome
Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105, JAPAN
45 Vologradsij Pr.
Alabama Space and Rocket Center U.S. SPACE CAMP
1 Tranquility Base 6225 Vectorspace Blvd
Huntsville, AL 35805 Titusville FL 32780
Registration and mailing list are handled through Huntsville -- both
camps are described in the same brochure.
Programs offered at Space Camp are:
Space Camp - one week, youngsters completing grades 4-6
Space Academy I - one week, grades 7-9
Aviation Challenge - one week high school program, grades 9-11
Space Academy II - 8 days, college accredited, grades 10-12
Adult Program - 3 days (editorial comment: it's great!)
Teachers Program - 5 days
SPACE COMMERCE CORPORATION (U.S. agent for Soviet launch services)
504 Pluto Drive 69th flr, Texas Commerce Tower
Colorado Springs, CO 80906 Houston, TX 77002
600 Maryland Avenue, SW
Suite 201 West
Washington, DC 20004
SPOT IMAGE CORPORATION
1857 Preston White Drive,
Reston, VA 22091
(FAX) (703)-648-1813 (703)-620-2200
OTHER COMMERCIAL SPACE BUSINESSES
Vincent Cate maintains a list with addresses and some info for a variety
of companies in space-related businesses. This is mailed out on the
space-investors list he runs (see the "Network Resources" FAQ) and is also
available by anonymous ftp from furmint.nectar.cs.cmu.edu (22.214.171.124) in
NEXT: FAQ #9/15 - Schedules for space missions, and how to see them
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:29 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 09/15 - Mission Schedules
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:12 $
SPACE SHUTTLE ANSWERS, LAUNCH SCHEDULES, TV COVERAGE
SHUTTLE LAUNCHINGS AND LANDINGS; SCHEDULES AND HOW TO SEE THEM
Shuttle operations are discussed in the Usenet group sci.space.shuttle,
and Ken Hollis ([email protected]) posts a compressed version
of the shuttle manifest (launch dates and other information)
periodically there. The manifest is also available from the Ames SPACE
archive in SPACE/FAQ/manifest. The portion of his manifest formerly
included in this FAQ has been removed; please refer to his posting or
the archived copy. For the most up to date information on upcoming
missions, call (407) 867-INFO (867-4636) at Kennedy Space Center.
Official NASA shuttle status reports are posted to sci.space.news
HOW TO RECEIVE THE NASA TV CHANNEL, NASA SELECT
NASA SELECT is broadcast by satellite. If you have access to a satellite
dish, you can find SELECT on Satcom F2R, Transponder 13, C-Band, 72
degrees West Longitude, Audio 6.8, Frequency 3960 MHz. F2R is stationed
over the Atlantic, and is increasingly difficult to receive from
California and points west. During events of special interest (e.g.
shuttle missions), SELECT is sometimes broadcast on a second satellite
for these viewers.
If you can't get a satellite feed, some cable operators carry SELECT.
It's worth asking if yours doesn't.
The SELECT schedule is found in the NASA Headline News which is
frequently posted to sci.space. Generally it carries press conferences,
briefings by NASA officials, and live coverage of shuttle missions and
planetary encounters. SELECT has recently begun carrying much more
secondary material (associated with SPACELINK) when missions are not
AMATEUR RADIO FREQUENCIES FOR SHUTTLE MISSIONS
The following are believed to rebroadcast space shuttle mission audio:
W6FXN - Los Angeles
K6MF - Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California
WA3NAN - Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Maryland.
W5RRR - Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, Texas
W6VIO - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California.
W1AW Voice Bulletins
Station VHF 10m 15m 20m 40m 80m
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ----- -----
K6MF 145.585 7.165 3.840
WA3NAN 147.45 28.650 21.395 14.295 7.185 3.860
W5RRR 146.64 28.400 21.350 14.280 7.227 3.850
W6VIO 224.04 21.340 14.270
W6VIO 224.04 21.280 14.282 7.165 3.840
W1AW 28.590 21.390 14.290 7.290 3.990
W5RRR transmits mission audio on 146.64, a special event station on the
other frequencies supplying Keplerian Elements and mission information.
W1AW also transmits on 147.555, 18.160. No mission audio but they
transmit voice bulletins at 0245 and 0545 UTC.
Frequencies in the 10-20m bands require USB and frequencies in the 40
and 80m bands LSB. Use FM for the VHF frequencies.
[This item was most recently updated courtesy of Gary Morris
([email protected], KK6YB, N5QWC)]
SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER FUEL COMPOSITION
Reference: "Shuttle Flight Operations Manual" Volume 8B - Solid Rocket
Booster Systems, NASA Document JSC-12770
Propellant Composition (percent)
Ammonium perchlorate (oxidizer) 69.6
Iron Oxide (burn rate catalyst) 0.4
Polybutadiene-acrilic acid-acrylonitrile (a rubber) 12.04
Epoxy curing agent 1.96
Comment: The aluminum, rubber, and epoxy all burn with the oxidizer.
NEXT: FAQ #10/15 - Historical planetary probes
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:32 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 10/15 - Planetary Probe History
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:09 $
PLANETARY PROBES - HISTORICAL MISSIONS
This section was lightly adapted from an original posting by Larry Klaes
([email protected]), mostly minor formatting changes. Matthew
Wiener ([email protected]) contributed the section on
Voyager, and the section on Sakigake was obtained from ISAS material
posted by Yoshiro Yamada ([email protected]).
US PLANETARY MISSIONS
MARINER (VENUS, MARS, & MERCURY FLYBYS AND ORBITERS)
MARINER 1, the first U.S. attempt to send a spacecraft to Venus, failed
minutes after launch in 1962. The guidance instructions from the ground
stopped reaching the rocket due to a problem with its antenna, so the
onboard computer took control. However, there turned out to be a bug in
the guidance software, and the rocket promptly went off course, so the
Range Safety Officer destroyed it. Although the bug is sometimes claimed
to have been an incorrect FORTRAN DO statement, it was actually a
transcription error in which the bar (indicating smoothing) was omitted
from the expression "R-dot-bar sub n" (nth smoothed value of derivative
of radius). This error led the software to treat normal minor variations
of velocity as if they were serious, leading to incorrect compensation.
MARINER 2 became the first successful probe to flyby Venus in December
of 1962, and it returned information which confirmed that Venus is a
very hot (800 degrees Fahrenheit, now revised to 900 degrees F.) world
with a cloud-covered atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide
(sulfuric acid was later confirmed in 1978).
MARINER 3, launched on November 5, 1964, was lost when its protective
shroud failed to eject as the craft was placed into interplanetary
space. Unable to collect the Sun's energy for power from its solar
panels, the probe soon died when its batteries ran out and is now in
solar orbit. It was intended for a Mars flyby with MARINER 4.
MARINER 4, the sister probe to MARINER 3, did reach Mars in 1965 and
took the first close-up images of the Martian surface (22 in all) as it
flew by the planet. The probe found a cratered world with an atmosphere
much thinner than previously thought. Many scientists concluded from
this preliminary scan that Mars was a "dead" world in both the
geological and biological sense.
MARINER 5 was sent to Venus in 1967. It reconfirmed the data on that
planet collected five years earlier by MARINER 2, plus the information
that Venus' atmospheric pressure at its surface is at least 90 times
that of Earth's, or the equivalent of being 3,300 feet under the surface
of an ocean.
MARINER 6 and 7 were sent to Mars in 1969 and expanded upon the work
done by MARINER 4 four years earlier. However, they failed to take away
the concept of Mars as a "dead" planet, first made from the basic
measurements of MARINER 4.
MARINER 8 ended up in the Atlantic Ocean in 1971 when the rocket
launcher autopilot failed.
MARINER 9, the sister probe to MARINER 8, became the first craft to
orbit Mars in 1971. It returned information on the Red Planet that no
other probe had done before, revealing huge volcanoes on the Martian
surface, as well as giant canyon systems, and evidence that water once
flowed across the planet. The probe also took the first detailed closeup
images of Mars' two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.
MARINER 10 used Venus as a gravity assist to Mercury in 1974. The probe
did return the first close-up images of the Venusian atmosphere in
ultraviolet, revealing previously unseen details in the cloud cover,
plus the fact that the entire cloud system circles the planet in four
Earth days. MARINER 10 eventually made three flybys of Mercury from 1974
to 1975 before running out of attitude control gas. The probe revealed
Mercury as a heavily cratered world with a mass much greater than
thought. This would seem to indicate that Mercury has an iron core which
makes up 75 percent of the entire planet.
PIONEER (MOON, SUN, VENUS, JUPITER, and SATURN FLYBYS AND ORBITERS)
PIONEER 1 through 3 failed to meet their main objective - to photograph
the Moon close-up - but they did reach far enough into space to provide
new information on the area between Earth and the Moon, including new
data on the Van Allen radiation belts circling Earth. All three craft
had failures with their rocket launchers. PIONEER 1 was launched on
October 11, 1958, PIONEER 2 on November 8, and PIONEER 3 on December 6.
PIONEER 4 was a Moon probe which missed the Moon and became the first
U.S. spacecraft to orbit the Sun in 1959. PIONEER 5 was originally
designed to flyby Venus, but the mission was scaled down and it instead
studied the interplanetary environment between Venus and Earth out to
36.2 million kilometers in 1960, a record until MARINER 2. PIONEER 6
through 9 were placed into solar orbit from 1965 to 1968: PIONEER 6, 7,
and 8 are still transmitting information at this time. PIONEER E (would
have been number 10) suffered a launch failure in 1969.
PIONEER 10 became the first spacecraft to flyby Jupiter in 1973. PIONEER
11 followed it in 1974, and then went on to become the first probe to
study Saturn in 1979. Both vehicles should continue to function through
1995 and are heading off into interstellar space, the first craft ever
to do so.
PIONEER Venus 1 (1978) (also known as PIONEER Venus Orbiter, or PIONEER
12) burned up in the Venusian atmosphere on October 8, 1992. PVO made
the first radar studies of the planet's surface via probe. PIONEER Venus
2 (also known as PIONEER 13) sent four small probes into the atmosphere
in December of 1978. The main spacecraft bus burned up high in the
atmosphere, while the four probes descended by parachute towards the
surface. Though none were expected to survive to the surface, the Day
probe did make it and transmitted for 67.5 minutes on the ground before
its batteries failed.
RANGER (LUNAR LANDER AND IMPACT MISSIONS)
RANGER 1 and 2 were test probes for the RANGER lunar impact series. They
were meant for high Earth orbit testing in 1961, but rocket problems
left them in useless low orbits which quickly decayed.
RANGER 3, launched on January 26, 1962, was intended to land an
instrument capsule on the surface of the Moon, but problems during the
launch caused the probe to miss the Moon and head into solar orbit.
RANGER 3 did try to take some images of the Moon as it flew by, but the
camera was unfortunately aimed at deep space during the attempt.
RANGER 4, launched April 23, 1962, had the same purpose as RANGER 3, but
suffered technical problems enroute and crashed on the lunar farside,
the first U.S. probe to reach the Moon, albeit without returning data.
RANGER 5, launched October 18, 1962 and similar to RANGER 3 and 4, lost
all solar panel and battery power enroute and eventually missed the Moon
and drifted off into solar orbit.
RANGER 6 through 9 had more modified lunar missions: They were to send
back live images of the lunar surface as they headed towards an impact
with the Moon. RANGER 6 failed this objective in 1964 when its cameras
did not operate. RANGER 7 through 9 performed well, becoming the first
U.S. lunar probes to return thousands of lunar images through 1965.
LUNAR ORBITER (LUNAR SURFACE PHOTOGRAPHY)
LUNAR ORBITER 1 through 5 were designed to orbit the Moon and image
various sites being studied as landing areas for the manned APOLLO
missions of 1969-1972. The probes also contributed greatly to our
understanding of lunar surface features, particularly the lunar farside.
All five probes of the series, launched from 1966 to 1967, were
essentially successful in their missions. They were the first U.S.
probes to orbit the Moon. All LOs were eventually crashed into the lunar
surface to avoid interference with the manned APOLLO missions.
SURVEYOR (LUNAR SOFT LANDERS)
The SURVEYOR series were designed primarily to see if an APOLLO lunar
module could land on the surface of the Moon without sinking into the
soil (before this time, it was feared by some that the Moon was covered
in great layers of dust, which would not support a heavy landing
vehicle). SURVEYOR was successful in proving that the lunar surface was
strong enough to hold up a spacecraft from 1966 to 1968.
Only SURVEYOR 2 and 4 were unsuccessful missions. The rest became the
first U.S. probes to soft land on the Moon, taking thousands of images
and scooping the soil for analysis. APOLLO 12 landed 600 feet from
SURVEYOR 3 in 1969 and returned parts of the craft to Earth. SURVEYOR 7,
the last of the series, was a purely scientific mission which explored
the Tycho crater region in 1968.
VIKING (MARS ORBITERS AND LANDERS)
VIKING 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 20, 1975 on
a TITAN 3E-CENTAUR D1 rocket. The probe went into Martian orbit on June
19, 1976, and the lander set down on the western slopes of Chryse
Planitia on July 20, 1976. It soon began its programmed search for
Martian micro-organisms (there is still debate as to whether the probes
found life there or not), and sent back incredible color panoramas of
its surroundings. One thing scientists learned was that Mars' sky was
pinkish in color, not dark blue as they originally thought (the sky is
pink due to sunlight reflecting off the reddish dust particles in the
thin atmosphere). The lander set down among a field of red sand and
boulders stretching out as far as its cameras could image.
The VIKING 1 orbiter kept functioning until August 7, 1980, when it ran
out of attitude-control propellant. The lander was switched into a
weather-reporting mode, where it had been hoped it would keep
functioning through 1994; but after November 13, 1982, an errant command
had been sent to the lander accidentally telling it to shut down until
further orders. Communication was never regained again, despite the
engineers' efforts through May of 1983.
An interesting side note: VIKING 1's lander has been designated the
Thomas A. Mutch Memorial Station in honor of the late leader of the
lander imaging team. The National Air and Space Museum in Washington,
D.C. is entrusted with the safekeeping of the Mutch Station Plaque until
it can be attached to the lander by a manned expedition.
VIKING 2 was launched on September 9, 1975, and arrived in Martian orbit
on August 7, 1976. The lander touched down on September 3, 1976 in
Utopia Planitia. It accomplished essentially the same tasks as its
sister lander, with the exception that its seisometer worked, recording
one marsquake. The orbiter had a series of attitude-control gas leaks in
1978, which prompted it being shut down that July. The lander was shut
down on April 12, 1980.
The orbits of both VIKING orbiters should decay around 2025.
VOYAGER (OUTER PLANET FLYBYS)
VOYAGER 1 was launched September 5, 1977, and flew past Jupiter on March
5, 1979 and by Saturn on November 13, 1980. VOYAGER 2 was launched
August 20, 1977 (before VOYAGER 1), and flew by Jupiter on August 7,
1979, by Saturn on August 26, 1981, by Uranus on January 24, 1986, and
by Neptune on August 8, 1989. VOYAGER 2 took advantage of a rare
once-every-189-years alignment to slingshot its way from outer planet to
outer planet. VOYAGER 1 could, in principle, have headed towards Pluto,
but JPL opted for the sure thing of a Titan close up.
Between the two probes, our knowledge of the 4 giant planets, their
satellites, and their rings has become immense. VOYAGER 1&2 discovered
that Jupiter has complicated atmospheric dynamics, lightning and
aurorae. Three new satellites were discovered. Two of the major
surprises were that Jupiter has rings and that Io has active sulfurous
volcanoes, with major effects on the Jovian magnetosphere.
When the two probes reached Saturn, they discovered over 1000 ringlets
and 7 satellites, including the predicted shepherd satellites that keep
the rings stable. The weather was tame compared with Jupiter: massive
jet streams with minimal variance (a 33-year great white spot/band cycle
is known). Titan's atmosphere was smoggy. Mimas' appearance was
startling: one massive impact crater gave it the Death Star appearance.
The big surprise here was the stranger aspects of the rings. Braids,
kinks, and spokes were both unexpected and difficult to explain.
VOYAGER 2, thanks to heroic engineering and programming efforts,
continued the mission to Uranus and Neptune. Uranus itself was highly
monochromatic in appearance. One oddity was that its magnetic axis was
found to be highly skewed from the already completely skewed rotational
axis, giving Uranus a peculiar magnetosphere. Icy channels were found on
Ariel, and Miranda was a bizarre patchwork of different terrains. 10
satellites and one more ring were discovered.
In contrast to Uranus, Neptune was found to have rather active weather,
including numerous cloud features. The ring arcs turned out to be bright
patches on one ring. Two other rings, and 6 other satellites, were
discovered. Neptune's magnetic axis was also skewed. Triton had a
canteloupe appearance and geysers. (What's liquid at 38K?)
The two VOYAGERs are expected to last for about two more decades. Their
on-target journeying gives negative evidence about possible planets
beyond Pluto. Their next major scientific discovery should be the
location of the heliopause.
SOVIET PLANETARY MISSIONS
Since there have been so many Soviet probes to the Moon, Venus, and
Mars, I will highlight only the primary missions:
SOVIET LUNAR PROBES
LUNA 1 - Lunar impact attempt in 1959, missed Moon and became first
craft in solar orbit.
LUNA 2 - First craft to impact on lunar surface in 1959.
LUNA 3 - Took first images of lunar farside in 1959.
ZOND 3 - Took first images of lunar farside in 1965 since LUNA 3. Was
also a test for future Mars missions.
LUNA 9 - First probe to soft land on the Moon in 1966, returned images
LUNA 10 - First probe to orbit the Moon in 1966.
LUNA 13 - Second successful Soviet lunar soft landing mission in 1966.
ZOND 5 - First successful circumlunar craft. ZOND 6 through 8
accomplished similar missions through 1970. The probes were
unmanned tests of a manned orbiting SOYUZ-type lunar vehicle.
LUNA 16 - First probe to land on Moon and return samples of lunar soil
to Earth in 1970. LUNA 20 accomplished similar mission in
LUNA 17 - Delivered the first unmanned lunar rover to the Moon's
surface, LUNOKHOD 1, in 1970. A similar feat was accomplished
with LUNA 21/LUNOKHOD 2 in 1973.
LUNA 24 - Last Soviet lunar mission to date. Returned soil samples in
SOVIET VENUS PROBES
VENERA 1 - First acknowledged attempt at Venus mission. Transmissions
lost enroute in 1961.
VENERA 2 - Attempt to image Venus during flyby mission in tandem with
VENERA 3. Probe ceased transmitting just before encounter in
February of 1966. No images were returned.
VENERA 3 - Attempt to place a lander capsule on Venusian surface.
Transmissions ceased just before encounter and entire probe
became the first craft to impact on another planet in 1966.
VENERA 4 - First probe to successfully return data while descending
through Venusian atmosphere. Crushed by air pressure before
reaching surface in 1967. VENERA 5 and 6 mission profiles
similar in 1969.
VENERA 7 - First probe to return data from the surface of another planet
in 1970. VENERA 8 accomplished a more detailed mission in
VENERA 9 - Sent first image of Venusian surface in 1975. Was also the
first probe to orbit Venus. VENERA 10 accomplished similar
VENERA 13 - Returned first color images of Venusian surface in 1982.
VENERA 14 accomplished similar mission.
VENERA 15 - Accomplished radar mapping with VENERA 16 of sections of
planet's surface in 1983 more detailed than PVO.
VEGA 1 - Accomplished with VEGA 2 first balloon probes of Venusian
atmosphere in 1985, including two landers. Flyby buses went on
to become first spacecraft to study Comet Halley close-up in
March of 1986.
SOVIET MARS PROBES
MARS 1 - First acknowledged Mars probe in 1962. Transmissions ceased
enroute the following year.
ZOND 2 - First possible attempt to place a lander capsule on Martian
surface. Probe signals ceased enroute in 1965.
MARS 2 - First Soviet Mars probe to land - albeit crash - on Martian
surface. Orbiter section first Soviet probe to circle the Red
Planet in 1971.
MARS 3 - First successful soft landing on Martian surface, but lander
signals ceased after 90 seconds in 1971.
MARS 4 - Attempt at orbiting Mars in 1974, braking rockets failed to
fire, probe went on into solar orbit.
MARS 5 - First fully successful Soviet Mars mission, orbiting Mars in
1974. Returned images of Martian surface comparable to U.S.
probe MARINER 9.
MARS 6 - Landing attempt in 1974. Lander crashed into the surface.
MARS 7 - Lander missed Mars completely in 1974, went into a solar orbit
with its flyby bus.
PHOBOS 1 - First attempt to land probes on surface of Mars' largest
moon, Phobos. Probe failed enroute in 1988 due to
PHOBOS 2 - Attempt to land probes on Martian moon Phobos. The probe did
enter Mars orbit in early 1989, but signals ceased one week
before scheduled Phobos landing.
While there has been talk of Soviet Jupiter, Saturn, and even
interstellar probes within the next thirty years, no major steps have
yet been taken with these projects. More intensive studies of the Moon,
Mars, Venus, and various comets have been planned for the 1990s, and a
Mercury mission to orbit and land probes on the tiny world has been
planned for 2003. How the many changes in the former Soviet Union (now
the Commonwealth of Independent States) will affect the future of their
space program remains to be seen.
JAPANESE PLANETARY MISSIONS
SAKIGAKE (MS-T5) was launched from the Kagoshima Space Center by ISAS on
January 8 1985, and approached Halley's Comet within about 7 million km
on March 11, 1986. The spacecraft is carrying three instru- ments to
measure interplanetary magnetic field/plasma waves/solar wind, all of
which work normally now, so ISAS made an Earth swingby by Sakigake on
January 8, 1992 into an orbit similar to the earth's. The closest
approach was at 23h08m47s (JST=UTC+9h) on January 8, 1992. The
geocentric distance was 88,997 km. This is the first planet-swingby for
a Japanese spacecraft.
During the approach, Sakigake observed the geotail. Some geotail
passages will be scheduled in some years hence. The second Earth-swingby
will be on June 14, 1993 (at 40 Re (Earth's radius)), and the third
October 28, 1994 (at 86 Re).
HITEN, a small lunar probe, was launched into Earth orbit on January 24,
1990. The spacecraft was then known as MUSES-A, but was renamed to Hiten
once in orbit. The 430 lb probe looped out from Earth and made its first
lunary flyby on March 19, where it dropped off its 26 lb midget
satellite, HAGOROMO. Japan at this point became the third nation to
orbit a satellite around the Moon, joining the Unites States and USSR.
The smaller spacecraft, Hagoromo, remained in orbit around the Moon. An
apparently broken transistor radio caused the Japanese space scientists
to lose track of it. Hagoromo's rocket motor fired on schedule on March
19, but the spacecraft's tracking transmitter failed immediately. The
rocket firing of Hagoromo was optically confirmed using the Schmidt
camera (105-cm, F3.1) at the Kiso Observatory in Japan.
Hiten made multiple lunar flybys at approximately monthly intervals and
performed aerobraking experiments using the Earth's atmosphere. Hiten
made a close approach to the moon at 22:33 JST (UTC+9h) on February 15,
1992 at the height of 423 km from the moon's surface (35.3N, 9.7E) and
fired its propulsion system for about ten minutes to put the craft into
lunar orbit. The following is the orbital calculation results after the
Apoapsis Altitude: about 49,400 km
Periapsis Altitude: about 9,600 km
Inclination : 34.7 deg (to ecliptic plane)
Period : 4.7 days
PLANETARY MISSION REFERENCES
I also recommend reading the following works, categorized in three
groups: General overviews, specific books on particular space missions,
and periodical sources on space probes. This list is by no means
complete; it is primarily designed to give you places to start your
research through generally available works on the subject. If anyone can
add pertinent works to the list, it would be greatly appreciated.
Though naturally I recommend all the books listed below, I think it
would be best if you started out with the general overview books, in
order to give you a clear idea of the history of space exploration in
this area. I also recommend that you pick up some good, up-to-date
general works on astronomy and the Sol system, to give you some extra
background. Most of these books and periodicals can be found in any good
public and university library. Some of the more recently published works
can also be purchased in and/or ordered through any good mass- market
General Overviews (in alphabetical order by author):
J. Kelly Beatty et al, THE NEW SOLAR SYSTEM, 1990.
Merton E. Davies and Bruce C. Murray, THE VIEW FROM SPACE:
PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF THE PLANETS, 1971
Kenneth Gatland, THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPACE
Kenneth Gatland, ROBOT EXPLORERS, 1972
R. Greeley, PLANETARY LANDSCAPES, 1987
Douglas Hart, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOVIET SPACECRAFT, 1987
Nicholas L. Johnson, HANDBOOK OF SOVIET LUNAR AND PLANETARY
Clayton R. Koppes, JPL AND THE AMERICAN SPACE PROGRAM: A
HISTORY OF THE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY, 1982
Richard S. Lewis, THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE
Mark Littman, PLANETS BEYOND: DISCOVERING THE OUTER SOLAR
Eugene F. Mallove and Gregory L. Matloff, THE STARFLIGHT
HANDBOOK: A PIONEER'S GUIDE TO INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL, 1989
Frank Miles and Nicholas Booth, RACE TO MARS: THE MARS
FLIGHT ATLAS, 1988
Bruce Murray, JOURNEY INTO SPACE, 1989
Oran W. Nicks, FAR TRAVELERS, 1985 (NASA SP-480)
James E. Oberg, UNCOVERING SOVIET DISASTERS: EXPLORING THE
LIMITS OF GLASNOST, 1988
Carl Sagan, COMET, 1986
Carl Sagan, THE COSMIC CONNECTION, 1973
Carl Sagan, PLANETS, 1969 (LIFE Science Library)
Arthur Smith, PLANETARY EXPLORATION: THIRTY YEARS OF UNMANNED
SPACE PROBES, 1988
Andrew Wilson, (JANE'S) SOLAR SYSTEM LOG, 1987
Specific Mission References:
Charles A. Cross and Patrick Moore, THE ATLAS OF MERCURY, 1977
(The MARINER 10 mission to Venus and Mercury, 1973-1975)
Joel Davis, FLYBY: THE INTERPLANETARY ODYSSEY OF VOYAGER 2, 1987
Irl Newlan, FIRST TO VENUS: THE STORY OF MARINER 2, 1963
Margaret Poynter and Arthur L. Lane, VOYAGER: THE STORY OF A
SPACE MISSION, 1984
Carl Sagan, MURMURS OF EARTH, 1978 (Deals with the Earth
information records placed on VOYAGER 1 and 2 in case the
probes are found by intelligences in interstellar space,
as well as the probes and planetary mission objectives
Other works and periodicals:
NASA has published very detailed and technical books on every space
probe mission it has launched. Good university libraries will carry
these books, and they are easily found simply by knowing which mission
you wish to read about. I recommend these works after you first study
some of the books listed above.
Some periodicals I recommend for reading on space probes are NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC, which has written articles on the PIONEER probes to Earth's
Moon Luna and the Jovian planets Jupiter and Saturn, the RANGER,
SURVEYOR, LUNAR ORBITER, and APOLLO missions to Luna, the MARINER
missions to Mercury, Venus, and Mars, the VIKING probes to Mars, and the
VOYAGER missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
More details on American, Soviet, European, and Japanese probe missions
can be found in SKY AND TELESCOPE, ASTRONOMY, SCIENCE, NATURE, and
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazines. TIME, NEWSWEEK, and various major
newspapers can supply not only general information on certain missions,
but also show you what else was going on with Earth at the time events
were unfolding, if that is of interest to you. Space missions are
affected by numerous political, economic, and climatic factors, as you
Depending on just how far your interest in space probes will go, you
might also wish to join The Planetary Society, one of the largest space
groups in the world dedicated to planetary exploration. Their
periodical, THE PLANETARY REPORT, details the latest space probe
missions. Write to The Planetary Society, 65 North Catalina Avenue,
Pasadena, California 91106 USA.
Good luck with your studies in this area of space exploration. I
personally find planetary missions to be one of the more exciting areas
in this field, and the benefits human society has and will receive from
it are incredible, with many yet to be realized.
Larry Klaes [email protected]
NEXT: FAQ #11/15 - Upcoming planetary probes - missions and schedules
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:43 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 11/15 - Upcoming Planetary Probes
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:07 $
UPCOMING PLANETARY PROBES - MISSIONS AND SCHEDULES
Information on upcoming or currently active missions not mentioned below
would be welcome. Sources: NASA fact sheets, Cassini Mission Design
team, ISAS/NASDA launch schedules, press kits.
CASSINI - Saturn orbiter and Titan atmosphere probe. Cassini is a joint
NASA/ESA project designed to accomplish an exploration of the Saturnian
system with its Cassini Saturn Orbiter and Huygens Titan Probe. Cassini
is scheduled for launch aboard a Titan IV/Centaur in October of 1997.
After gravity assists of Venus, Earth and Jupiter in a VVEJGA
trajectory, the spacecraft will arrive at Saturn in June of 2004. Upon
arrival, the Cassini spacecraft performs several maneuvers to achieve an
orbit around Saturn. Near the end of this initial orbit, the Huygens
Probe separates from the Orbiter and descends through the atmosphere of
Titan. The Orbiter relays the Probe data to Earth for about 3 hours
while the Probe enters and traverses the cloudy atmosphere to the
surface. After the completion of the Probe mission, the Orbiter
continues touring the Saturnian system for three and a half years. Titan
synchronous orbit trajectories will allow about 35 flybys of Titan and
targeted flybys of Iapetus, Dione and Enceladus. The objectives of the
mission are threefold: conduct detailed studies of Saturn's atmosphere,
rings and magnetosphere; conduct close-up studies of Saturn's
satellites, and characterize Titan's atmosphere and surface.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Titan is the possibility that its
surface may be covered in part with lakes of liquid hydrocarbons that
result from photochemical processes in its upper atmosphere. These
hydrocarbons condense to form a global smog layer and eventually rain
down onto the surface. The Cassini orbiter will use onboard radar to
peer through Titan's clouds and determine if there is liquid on the
surface. Experiments aboard both the orbiter and the entry probe will
investigate the chemical processes that produce this unique atmosphere.
The Cassini mission is named for Jean Dominique Cassini (1625-1712), the
first director of the Paris Observatory, who discovered several of
Saturn's satellites and the major division in its rings. The Titan
atmospheric entry probe is named for the Dutch physicist Christiaan
Huygens (1629-1695), who discovered Titan and first described the true
nature of Saturn's rings.
Key Scheduled Dates for the Cassini Mission (VVEJGA Trajectory)
10/06/97 - Titan IV/Centaur Launch
04/21/98 - Venus 1 Gravity Assist
06/20/99 - Venus 2 Gravity Assist
08/16/99 - Earth Gravity Assist
12/30/00 - Jupiter Gravity Assist
06/25/04 - Saturn Arrival
01/09/05 - Titan Probe Release
01/30/05 - Titan Probe Entry
06/25/08 - End of Primary Mission
(Schedule last updated 7/22/92)
GALILEO - Jupiter orbiter and atmosphere probe, in transit. Has returned
the first resolved images of an asteroid, Gaspra, while in transit to
Jupiter. Efforts to unfurl the stuck High-Gain Antenna (HGA) are
continuing, though eventual success appears less likely. If the HGA
cannot be unfurled, JPL has developed a backup plan using data
compression (JPEG-like for images, lossless compression for data from
the other instruments) which should allow the mission to achieve
approximately 70% of its objectives.
10/18/89 - Launch from Space Shuttle
02/09/90 - Venus Flyby
10/**/90 - Venus Data Playback
12/08/90 - 1st Earth Flyby
05/01/91 - High Gain Antenna Unfurled
07/91 - 06/92 - 1st Asteroid Belt Passage
10/29/91 - Asteroid Gaspra Flyby
12/08/92 - 2nd Earth Flyby
05/93 - 11/93 - 2nd Asteroid Belt Passage
08/28/93 - Asteroid Ida Flyby
07/02/95 - Probe Separation
07/09/95 - Orbiter Deflection Maneuver
12/95 - 10/97 - Orbital Tour of Jovian Moons
12/07/95 - Jupiter/Io Encounter
07/18/96 - Ganymede
09/28/96 - Ganymede
12/12/96 - Callisto
01/23/97 - Europa
02/28/97 - Ganymede
04/22/97 - Europa
05/31/97 - Europa
10/05/97 - Jupiter Magnetotail Exploration
HITEN - Japanese (ISAS) lunar probe launched 1/24/90. Has made
multiple lunar flybys. Released Hagoromo, a smaller satellite,
into lunar orbit. This mission made Japan the third nation to
orbit a satellite around the Moon.
MAGELLAN - Venus radar mapping mission. Has mapped almost the entire
surface at high resolution. Currently (11/92) in mapping cycle 4,
collecting a global gravity map.
MARS OBSERVER - Mars orbiter including 1.5 m/pixel resolution camera.
Currently (11/92) in transit to Mars arrival in 8/93. Operations start
11/93 for one martian year (687 days).
TOPEX/Poseidon - Joint US/French Earth observing satellite, launched in
August 1992 on an Ariane 4 booster. The primary objective of the
TOPEX/POSEIDON project is to make precise and accurate global
observations of the sea level for several years, substantially
increasing understanding of global ocean dynamics. The satellite also
will increase understanding of how heat is transported in the ocean.
ULYSSES- European Space Agency probe to study the Sun from an orbit over
its poles. Launched in late 1990, it carries particles-and-fields
experiments (such as magnetometer, ion and electron collectors for
various energy ranges, plasma wave radio receivers, etc.) but no camera.
Since no human-built rocket is hefty enough to send Ulysses far out of
the ecliptic plane, it went to Jupiter instead, and stole energy from
that planet by sliding over Jupiter's north pole in a gravity-assist
manuver in February 1992. This bent its path into a solar orbit tilted
about 85 degrees to the ecliptic. It will pass over the Sun's south pole
in the summer of 1993. Its aphelion is 5.2 AU, and, surprisingly, its
perihelion is about 1.5 AU-- that's right, a solar-studies spacecraft
that's always further from the Sun than the Earth is!
While in Jupiter's neigborhood, Ulysses studied the magnetic and
radiation environment. For a short summary of these results, see
*Science*, V. 257, p. 1487-1489 (11 September 1992). For gory technical
detail, see the many articles in the same issue.
OTHER SPACE SCIENCE MISSIONS (note: this is based on a posting by Ron
Baalke in 11/89, with ISAS/NASDA information contributed by Yoshiro
Yamada ([email protected]). I'm attempting to track changes based
on updated shuttle manifests; corrections and updates are welcome.
o Wind [Aug, Delta II rocket]
Satellite to measure solar wind input to magnetosphere.
o Space Radar Lab [Sep, STS-60 SRL-01]
Gather radar images of Earth's surface.
o Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer [Dec, Pegasus rocket]
Study of Stratospheric ozone.
o SFU (Space Flyer Unit) [ISAS]
Conducting space experiments and observations and this can be
recovered after it conducts the various scientific and
engineering experiments. SFU is to be launched by ISAS and
retrieved by the U.S. Space Shuttle on STS-68 in 1994.
o Polar Auroral Plasma Physics [May, Delta II rocket]
June, measure solar wind and ions and gases surrounding the
o IML-2 (STS) [NASDA, Jul 1994 IML-02]
International Microgravity Laboratory.
o ADEOS [NASDA]
Advanced Earth Observing Satellite.
o MUSES-B (Mu Space Engineering Satellite-B) [ISAS]
Conducting research on the precise mechanism of space structure
and in-space astronomical observations of electromagnetic waves.
Elucidating the crust structure and thermal construction of the
o Advanced X-ray Astronomy Facility (AXAF)
Possible launch from shuttle in 1995, AXAF is a space
observatory with a high resolution telescope. It would orbit for
15 years and study the mysteries and fate of the universe.
o Earth Observing System (EOS)
Possible launch in 1997, 1 of 6 US orbiting space platforms to
provide long-term data (15 years) of Earth systems science
including planetary evolution.
o Mercury Observer
Possible 1997 launch.
o Lunar Observer
Possible 1997 launch, would be sent into a long-term lunar
orbit. The Observer, from 60 miles above the moon's poles, would
survey characteristics to provide a global context for the
results from the Apollo program.
o Space Infrared Telescope Facility
Possible launch by shuttle in 1999, this is the 4th element of
the Great Observatories program. A free-flying observatory with
a lifetime of 5 to 10 years, it would observe new comets and
other primitive bodies in the outer solar system, study cosmic
birth formation of galaxies, stars and planets and distant
o Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR)
Robotics rover would return samples of Mars' atmosphere and
surface to Earch for analysis. Possible launch dates: 1996 for
imaging orbiter, 2001 for rover.
o Fire and Ice
Possible launch in 2001, will use a gravity assist flyby of
Earth in 2003, and use a final gravity assist from Jupiter in
2005, where the probe will split into its Fire and Ice
components: The Fire probe will journey into the Sun, taking
measurements of our star's upper atmosphere until it is
vaporized by the intense heat. The Ice probe will head out
towards Pluto, reaching the tiny world for study by 2016.
NEXT: FAQ #12/15 - Controversial questions
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:48 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 12/15 - Controversial Questions
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:16:59 $
These issues periodically come up with much argument and few facts being
offered. The summaries below attempt to represent the position on which
much of the net community has settled. Please DON'T bring them up again
unless there's something truly new to be discussed. The net can't set
public policy, that's what your representatives are for.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SATURN V PLANS
Despite a widespread belief to the contrary, the Saturn V blueprints
have not been lost. They are kept at Marshall Space Flight Center on
The problem in re-creating the Saturn V is not finding the drawings, it
is finding vendors who can supply mid-1960's vintage hardware (like
guidance system components), and the fact that the launch pads and VAB
have been converted to Space Shuttle use, so you have no place to launch
By the time you redesign to accommodate available hardware and re-modify
the launch pads, you may as well have started from scratch with a clean
WHY DATA FROM SPACE MISSIONS ISN'T IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE
Investigators associated with NASA missions are allowed exclusive access
for one year after the data is obtained in order to give them an
opportunity to analyze the data and publish results without being
"scooped" by people uninvolved in the mission. However, NASA frequently
releases examples (in non-digital form, e.g. photos) to the public early
in a mission.
RISKS OF NUCLEAR (RTG) POWER SOURCES FOR SPACE PROBES
There has been extensive discussion on this topic sparked by attempts to
block the Galileo and Ulysses launches on grounds of the plutonium
thermal sources being dangerous. Numerous studies claim that even in
worst-case scenarios (shuttle explosion during launch, or accidental
reentry at interplanetary velocities), the risks are extremely small.
Two interesting data points are (1) The May 1968 loss of two SNAP 19B2
RTGs, which landed intact in the Pacific Ocean after a Nimbus B weather
satellite failed to reach orbit. The fuel was recovered after 5 months
with no release of plutonium. (2) In April 1970, the Apollo 13 lunar
module reentered the atmosphere and its SNAP 27 RTG heat source, which
was jettisoned, fell intact into the 20,000 feet deep Tonga Trench in
the Pacific Ocean. The corrosion resistant materials of the RTG are
expected to prevent release of the fuel for a period of time equal to 10
half-lives of the Pu-238 fuel or about 870 years [DOE 1980].
To make your own informed judgement, some references you may wish to
A good review of the technical facts and issues is given by Daniel
Salisbury in "Radiation Risk and Planetary Exploration-- The RTG
Controversy," *Planetary Report*, May-June 1987, pages 3-7. Another good
article, which also reviews the events preceding Galileo's launch,
"Showdown at Pad 39-B," by Robert G. Nichols, appeared in the November
1989 issue of *Ad Astra*. (Both magazines are published by pro-space
organizations, the Planetary Society and the National Space Society
Gordon L Chipman, Jr., "Advanced Space Nuclear Systems" (AAS 82-261), in
*Developing the Space Frontier*, edited by Albert Naumann and Grover
Alexander, Univelt, 1983, p. 193-213.
"Hazards from Plutonium Toxicity", by Bernard L. Cohen, Health Physics,
Vol 32 (may) 1977, page 359-379.
NUS Corporation, Safety Status Report for the Ulysses Mission: Risk
Analysis (Book 1). Document number is NUS 5235; there is no GPO #;
published Jan 31, 1990.
NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, *Final Environmental
Impact Statement for the Ulysses Mission (Tier 2)*, (no serial number or
GPO number, but probably available from NTIS or NASA) June 1990.
[DOE 1980] U.S. Department of Energy, *Transuranic Elements in the
Environment*, Wayne C. Hanson, editor; DOE Document No. DOE/TIC-22800;
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., April 1980.)
IMPACT OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE ON THE OZONE LAYER
From time to time, claims are made that chemicals released from
the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) are responsible
for a significant amount of damage to the ozone layer. Studies
indicate that they in reality have only a minute impact, both in
absolute terms and relative to other chemical sources. The
remainder of this item is a response from the author of the quoted
study, Charles Jackman.
The atmospheric modelling study of the space shuttle effects on the
stratosphere involved three independent theoretical groups, and was
organized by Dr. Michael Prather, NASA/Goddard Institute for Space
Studies. The three groups involved Michael Prather and Maria Garcia
(NASA/GISS), Charlie Jackman and Anne Douglass (NASA/Goddard Space
Flight Center), and Malcolm Ko and Dak Sze (Atmospheric and
Environmental Research, Inc.). The effort was to look at the effects
of the space shuttle and Titan rockets on the stratosphere.
The following are the estimated sources of stratospheric chlorine:
Industrial sources: 300,000,000 kilograms/year
Natural sources: 75,000,000 kilograms/year
Shuttle sources: 725,000 kilograms/year
The shuttle source assumes 9 space shuttles and 6 Titan rockets are
launched yearly. Thus the launches would add less than 0.25% to the
total stratospheric chlorine sources.
The effect on ozone is minimal: global yearly average total ozone would
be decreased by 0.0065%. This is much less than total ozone variability
associated with volcanic activity and solar flares.
The influence of human-made chlorine products on ozone is computed
by atmospheric model calculations to be a 1% decrease in globally
averaged ozone between 1980 and 1990. The influence of the space shuttle and Titan rockets on the stratosphere is negligible. The launch
schedule of the Space Shuttle and Titan rockets would need to be
increased by over a factor of a hundred in order to have about
the same effect on ozone as our increases in industrial halocarbons
do at the present time.
Theoretical results of this study have been published in _The Space
Shuttle's Impact on the Stratosphere_, MJ Prather, MM Garcia, AR
Douglass, CH Jackman, M.K.W. Ko and N.D. Sze, Journal of Geophysical
Research, 95, 18583-18590, 1990.
Charles Jackman, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch,
Code 916, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Also see _Chemical Rockets and the Environment_, A McDonald, R Bennett,
J Hinshaw, and M Barnes, Aerospace America, May 1991.
HOW LONG CAN A HUMAN LIVE UNPROTECTED IN SPACE
If you *don't* try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a
minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your
breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to
watch out for when ascending, and you'll have eardrum trouble if your
Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts -- and animal
experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no
immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do
not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness.
Various minor problems (sunburn, possibly "the bends", certainly some
[mild, reversible, painless] swelling of skin and underlying tissue)
start after ten seconds or so. At some point you lose consciousness from
lack of oxygen. Injuries accumulate. After perhaps one or two minutes,
you're dying. The limits are not really known.
_The Effect on the Chimpanzee of Rapid Decompression to a Near Vacuum_,
Alfred G. Koestler ed., NASA CR-329 (Nov 1965).
_Experimental Animal Decompression to a Near Vacuum Environment_, R.W.
Bancroft, J.E. Dunn, eds, Report SAM-TR-65-48 (June 1965), USAF School
of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, Texas.
USING THE SHUTTLE BEYOND LOW EARTH ORBIT
You can't use the shuttle orbiter for missions beyond low Earth orbit
because it can't get there. It is big and heavy and does not carry
enough fuel, even if you fill part of the cargo bay with tanks.
Furthermore, it is not particularly sensible to do so, because much of
that weight is things like wings, which are totally useless except in
the immediate vicinity of the Earth. The shuttle orbiter is highly
specialized for travel between Earth's surface and low orbit. Taking it
higher is enormously costly and wasteful. A much better approach would
be to use shuttle subsystems to build a specialized high-orbit
[Yet another concise answer by Henry Spencer.]
THE "FACE ON MARS"
There really is a big rock on Mars that looks remarkably like a humanoid
face. It appears in two different frames of Viking Orbiter imagery:
35A72 (much more facelike in appearance, and the one more often
published, with the Sun 10 degrees above western horizon) and 70A13
(with the Sun 27 degrees from the west).
Science writer Richard Hoagland has championed the idea that the Face is
artificial, intended to resemble a human, and erected by an
extraterrestrial civilization. Most other analysts concede that the
resemblance is most likely accidental. Other Viking images show a
smiley-faced crater and a lava flow resembling Kermit the Frog elsewhere
on Mars. There exists a Mars Anomalies Research Society (sorry, don't
know the address) to study the Face.
The Mars Observer mission will carry an extremely high-resolution
camera, and better images of the formation will hopefully settle this
question in a few years. In the meantime, speculation about the Face is
best carried on in the altnet group alt.alien.visitors, not sci.space or
V. DiPeitro and G. Molenaar, *Unusual Martian Surface Features*, Mars
Research, P.O. Box 284, Glen Dale, Maryland, USA, 1982. $18 by mail.
R.R. Pozos, *The Face of Mars*, Chicago Review Press, 1986. [Account of
an interdisciplinary speculative conference Hoagland organized to
investigate the Face]
R.C. Hoagland, *The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever*,
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, USA, 1987. [Elaborate
discussion of evidence and speculation that formations near the Face
form a city]
M.J. Carlotto, "Digital Imagery Analysis of Unusual Martian Surface
Features," *Applied Optics*, 27, pp. 1926-1933, 1987. [Extracts
three-dimensional model for the Face from the 2-D images]
M.J. Carlotto & M.C. Stein, "A Method of Searching for Artificial
Objects on Planetary Surfaces," *Journal of the British Interplanetary
Society*, Vol. 43 no. 5 (May 1990), p.209-216. [Uses a fractal image
analysis model to guess whether the Face is artificial]
B. O'Leary, "Analysis of Images of the `Face' on Mars and Possible
Intelligent Origin," *JBIS*, Vol. 43 no. 5 (May 1990), p. 203-208.
[Lights Carlotto's model from the two angles and shows it's consistent;
shows that the Face doesn't look facelike if observed from the surface]
NEXT: FAQ #13/15 - Space activist/interest/research groups & space publications
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:51 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 13/15 - Interest Groups & Publications
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:01 $
SPACE ACTIVIST/INTEREST/RESEARCH GROUPS AND SPACE PUBLICATIONS
AMSAT - develops small satellites (since the 1960s) for a variety of
uses by amateur radio enthusiasts. Has various publications,
supplies QuickTrak satellite tracking software for PC/Mac/Amiga etc.
Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)
P.O. Box 27
Washington, DC 20044
ASERA - Australian Space Engineering and Research Association. An
Australian non-profit organisation to coordinate, promote, and
conduct space R&D projects in Australia, involving both Australian
and international (primarily university) collaborators. Activities
include the development of sounding rockets, small satellites
(especially microsatellites), high-altitude research balloons, and
appropriate payloads. Provides student projects at all levels, and
is open to any person or organisation interested in participating.
Publishes a monthly newsletter and a quarterly technical journal.
Membership $A100 (dual subscription)
Subscriptions $A25 (newsletter only) $A50 (journal only)
PO Box 184
Ryde, NSW, Australia, 2112
email: [email protected]
BIS - British Interplanetary Society. Probably the oldest pro-space
group, BIS publishes two excellent journals: _Spaceflight_, covering
current space activities, and the _Journal of the BIS_, containing
technical papers on space activities from near-term space probes to
interstellar missions. BIS has published a design study for an
interstellar probe called _Daedalus_.
British Interplanetary Society
27/29 South Lambeth Road
London SW8 1SZ
No dues information available at present.
ISU - International Space University. ISU is a non-profit international
graduate-level educational institution dedicated to promoting the
peaceful exploration and development of space through multi-cultural
and multi-disciplinary space education and research. For further
information on ISU's summer session program or Permanent Campus
activities please send messages to '[email protected]' or
contact the ISU Executive Offices at:
International Space University
955 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
L-5 Society (defunct). Founded by Keith and Carolyn Henson in 1975 to
advocate space colonization. Its major success was in preventing US
participation in the UN "Moon Treaty" in the late 1970s. Merged with
the National Space Institute in 1987, forming the National Space
NSS - the National Space Society. NSS is a pro-space group distinguished
by its network of local chapters. Supports a general agenda of space
development and man-in-space, including the NASA space station.
Publishes _Ad Astra_, a monthly glossy magazine, and runs Shuttle
launch tours and Space Hotline telephone services. A major sponsor
of the annual space development conference. Associated with
Spacecause and Spacepac, political lobbying organizations.
Membership $18 (youth/senior) $35 (regular).
National Space Society
922 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003-2140
Planetary Society - founded by Carl Sagan. The largest space advocacy
group. Publishes _Planetary Report_, a monthly glossy, and has
supported SETI hardware development financially. Agenda is primarily
support of space science, recently amended to include an
international manned mission to Mars.
The Planetary Society
65 North Catalina Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
SSI - the Space Studies Institute, founded by Dr. Gerard O'Neill.
Publishes _SSI Update_, a bimonthly newsletter describing
work-in-progress. Conducts a research program including
mass-drivers, lunar mining processes and simulants, composites from
lunar materials, solar power satellites. Runs the biennial Princeton
Conference on Space Manufacturing.
Membership $25/year. Senior Associates ($100/year and up) fund most
Space Studies Institute
258 Rosedale Road
PO Box 82
Princeton, NJ 08540
SEDS - Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Founded in
1980 at MIT and Princeton. SEDS is a chapter-based pro-space
organization at high schools and universities around the world.
Entirely student run. Each chapter is independent and coordinates
its own local activities. Nationally, SEDS runs a scholarship
competition, design contests, and holds an annual international
conference and meeting in late summer.
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space
MIT Room W20-445
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
email: [email protected]
Dues determined by local chapter.
SPACECAUSE - A political lobbying organization and part of the NSS
Family of Organizations. Publishes a bi-monthly newsletter,
Spacecause News. Annual dues is $25. Members also receive a discount
on _The Space Activist's Handbook_. Activities to support pro-space
legislation include meeting with political leaders and interacting
with legislative staff. Spacecause primarily operates in the
National Office West Coast Office
922 Pennsylvania Ave. SE 3435 Ocean Park Blvd.
Washington, D.C. 20003 Suite 201-S
(202)-543-1900 Santa Monica, CA 90405
SPACEPAC - A political action committee and part of the NSS Family of
Organizations. Spacepac researches issues, policies, and candidates.
Each year, updates _The Space Activist's Handbook_. Current Handbook
price is $25. While Spacepac does not have a membership, it does
have regional contacts to coordinate local activity. Spacepac
primarily operates in the election process, contributing money and
volunteers to pro-space candidates.
922 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003
UNITED STATES SPACE FOUNDATION - a public, non-profit organization
supported by member donations and dedicated to promoting
international education, understanding and support of space. The
group hosts an annual conference for teachers and others interested
in education. Other projects include developing lesson plans that
use space to teach other basic skills such as reading. Publishes
"Spacewatch," a monthly B&W glossy magazine of USSF events and
general space news. Annual dues:
Charter $50 ($100 first year)
College student $20
HS/Jr. High $10
Founder & $1000+
United States Space Foundation
PO Box 1838
Colorado Springs, CO 80901
Air & Space / Smithsonian (bimonthly magazine)
Boulder, CO 80332-3261
$18/year US, $24/year international
ESA - The European Space Agency publishes a variety of periodicals,
generally available free of charge. A document describing them in
more detail is in the Ames SPACE archive in
Final Frontier (mass-market bimonthly magazine) - history, book reviews,
general-interest articles (e.g. "The 7 Wonders of the Solar System",
"Everything you always wanted to know about military space
Final Frontier Publishing Co.
PO Box 534
Mt. Morris, IL 61054-7852
$14.95/year US, $19.95 Canada, $23.95 elsewhere
Space News (weekly magazine) - covers US civil and military space
programs. Said to have good political and business but spotty
Springfield VA 22159-0500
$75/year, may have discounts for NSS/SSI members
Space Flight News (monthly magazine) - covers current space activities
(all nations) in depth and has good historical series on topics like
early space capsules, cosmonauts, etc. Available by newsstand in the
US (with several months shipping delay), only by mail elsewhere.
Space Flight News Ltd.
PO Box 100
Stamford, Lincs, PE9IXQ
#16.20 pounds/year UK and international (surface)
airmail: #25/year (Europe) #26 (Middle East) #29 (North America) #31
(Australia, NZ, Japan)
Journal of the Astronautical Sciences and Space Times - publications of
the American Astronautical Society. No details.
AAS Business Office
6352 Rolling Mill Place, Suite #102
Springfield, VA 22152
GPS World (semi-monthly) - reports on current and new uses of GPS, news
and analysis of the system and policies affecting it, and technical
and product issues shaping GPS applications.
859 Willamette St.
P.O. Box 10460
Eugene, OR 97440-2460
Free to qualified individuals; write for free sample copy.
Planetary Encounter - in-depth technical coverage of planetary missions,
with diagrams, lists of experiments, interviews with people directly
World Spaceflight News - in-depth technical coverage of near-Earth
spaceflight. Mostly covers the shuttle: payload manifests, activity
schedules, and post-mission assessment reports for every mission.
Sewell, NJ 08080
Anyone who would care to write up descriptions of the following
groups (or others not mentioned) for inclusion in the answer is
encouraged to do so.
AAS - American Astronautical Society
AIAA - American Institute of Astronautics & Aeronautics
World Space Foundation
Other groups not mentioned above
NEXT: FAQ #14/15 - How to become an astronaut
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:55 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 14/15 - How to Become an Astronaut
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:16:55 $
HOW TO BECOME AN ASTRONAUT
First the short form, authored by Henry Spencer, then an official NASA
Q. How do I become an astronaut?
A. We will assume you mean a NASA astronaut, since it's probably
impossible for a non-Russian to get into the cosmonaut corps (paying
passengers are not professional cosmonauts), and the other nations have
so few astronauts (and fly even fewer) that you're better off hoping to
win a lottery. Becoming a shuttle pilot requires lots of fast-jet
experience, which means a military flying career; forget that unless you
want to do it anyway. So you want to become a shuttle "mission
If you aren't a US citizen, become one; that is a must. After that,
the crucial thing to remember is that the demand for such jobs vastly
exceeds the supply. NASA's problem is not finding qualified people,
but thinning the lineup down to manageable length. It is not enough
to be qualified; you must avoid being *dis*qualified for any reason,
many of them in principle quite irrelevant to the job.
Get a Ph.D. Specialize in something that involves getting your hands
dirty with equipment, not just paper and pencil. Forget computer
programming entirely; it will be done from the ground for the fore-
seeable future. Degree(s) in one field plus work experience in
another seems to be a frequent winner.
Be in good physical condition, with good eyesight. (DO NOT get a
radial keratomy or similar hack to improve your vision; nobody knows
what sudden pressure changes would do to RKed eyes, and long-term
effects are poorly understood. For that matter, avoid any other
significant medical unknowns.) If you can pass a jet-pilot physical,
you should be okay; if you can't, your chances are poor.
Practise public speaking, and be conservative and conformist in
appearance and actions; you've got a tough selling job ahead, trying
to convince a cautious, conservative selection committee that you
are better than hundreds of other applicants. (And, also, that you
will be a credit to NASA after you are hired: public relations is
a significant part of the job, and NASA's image is very prim and
proper.) The image you want is squeaky-clean workaholic yuppie.
Remember also that you will need a security clearance at some point,
and Security considers everybody guilty until proven innocent.
Keep your nose clean.
Get a pilot's license and make flying your number one hobby;
experienced pilots are known to be favored even for non-pilot jobs.
Work for NASA; of 45 astronauts selected between 1984 and 1988,
43 were military or NASA employees, and the remaining two were
a NASA consultant and Mae Jemison (the first black female astronaut).
If you apply from outside NASA and miss, but they offer you a job
at NASA, ***TAKE IT***; sometimes in the past this has meant "you
do look interesting but we want to know you a bit better first".
Think space: they want highly motivated people, so lose no chance
to demonstrate motivation.
Keep trying. Many astronauts didn't make it the first time.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Announcement for Mission Specialist and Pilot Astronaut Candidates
Astronaut Candidate Program
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a need for
Pilot Astronaut Candidates and Mission Specialist Astronaut Candidates
to support the Space Shuttle Program. NASA is now accepting on a
continuous basis and plans to select astronaut candidates as needed.
Persons from both the civilian sector and the military services will be
All positions are located at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in
Houston, Texas, and will involved a 1-year training and evaluation
Space Shuttle Program Description
The numerous successful flights of the Space Shuttle have demonstrated
that operation and experimental investigations in space are becoming
routine. The Space Shuttle Orbiter is launched into, and maneuvers in
the Earth orbit performing missions lastling up to 30 days. It then
returns to earth and is ready for another flight with payloads and
The Orbiter performs a variety of orbital missions including deployment
and retrieval of satellites, service of existing satellites, operation
of specialized laboratories (astronomy, earth sciences, materials
processing, manufacturing), and other operations. These missions will
eventually include the development and servicing of a permanent space
station. The Orbiter also provides a staging capability for using higher
orbits than can be achieved by the Orbiter itself. Users of the Space
Shuttle's capabilities are both domestic and foreign and include
government agencies and private industries.
The crew normally consists of five people - the commander, the pilot,
and three mission specialists. On occasion additional crew members are
assigned. The commander, pilot, and mission specialists are NASA
Pilot astronauts server as both Space Shuttle commanders and pilots.
During flight the commander has onboard responsibility for the vehicle,
crew, mission success and safety in flight. The pilot assists the
commander in controlling and operating the vehicle. In addition, the
pilot may assist in the deployment and retrieval of satellites utilizing
the remote manipulator system, in extra-vehicular activities, and other
Mission Specialist Astronaut
Mission specialist astronauts, working with the commander and pilot,
have overall responsibility for the coordination of Shuttle operations
in the areas of crew activity planning, consumables usage, and
experiment and payload operations. Mission specialists are required to
have a detailed knowledge of Shuttle systems, as well as detailed
knowledge of the operational characteristics, mission requirements and
objectives, and supporting systems and equipment for each of the
experiments to be conducted on their assigned missions. Mission
specialists will perform extra-vehicular activities, payload handling
using the remote manipulator system, and perform or assist in specific
Astronaut Candidate Program
Basic Qualification Requirements
Applicants MUST meet the following minimum requirements prior to
submitting an application.
Mission Specialist Astronaut Candidate:
1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering,
biological science, physical science or mathematics. Degree must be
followed by at least three years of related progressively responsible,
professional experience. An advanced degree is desirable and may be
substituted for part or all of the experience requirement (master's
degree = 1 year, doctoral degree = 3 years). Quality of academic
preparation is important.
2. Ability to pass a NASA class II space physical, which is similar to a
civilian or military class II flight physical and includes the following
Distant visual acuity:
20/100 or better uncorrected,
correctable to 20/20, each eye.
140/90 measured in sitting position.
3. Height between 60 and 76 inches.
Pilot Astronaut Candidate:
1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering,
biological science, physical science or mathematics. Degree must be
followed by at least three years of related progressively responsible,
professional experience. An advanced degree is desirable. Quality of
academic preparation is important.
2. At least 1000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight
test experience highly desirable.
3. Ability to pass a NASA Class I space physical which is similar to a
military or civilian Class I flight physical and includes the following
Distant visual acuity:
20/50 or better uncorrected
correctable to 20/20, each eye.
140/90 measured in sitting position.
4. Height between 64 and 76 inches.
Applications for the Astronaut Candidate Program must be citizens of
the United States.
Note on Academic Requirements
Applicants for the Astronaut Candidate Program must meet the basic
education requirements for NASA engineering and scientific positions --
specifically: successful completion of standard professional curriculum
in an accredited college or university leading to at least a bachelor's
degree with major study in an appropriate field of engineering,
biological science, physical science, or mathematics.
The following degree fields, while related to engineering and the
sciences, are not considered qualifying:
- Degrees in technology (Engineering Technology, Aviation Technology,
Medical Technology, etc.)
- Degrees in Psychology (except for Clinical Psychology, Physiological
Psychology, or Experimental Psychology which are qualifying).
- Degrees in Nursing.
- Degrees in social sciences (Geography, Anthropology, Archaeology, etc.)
- Degrees in Aviation, Aviation Management or similar fields.
The application package may be obtained by writing to:
NASA Johnson Space Center
Astronaut Selection Office
Houston, TX 77058
Civilian applications will be accepted on a continuous basis. When NASA
decides to select additional astronaut candidates, consideration will be
given only to those applications on hand on the date of decision is
made. Applications received after that date will be retained and
considered for the next selection. Applicants will be notified annually
of the opportunity to update their applications and to indicate
continued interest in being considered for the program. Those applicants
who do not update their applications annually will be dropped from
consideration, and their applications will not be retained. After the
preliminary screening of applications, additional information may be
requested for some applicants, and person listed on the application as
supervisors and references may be contacted.
Active Duty Military
Active duty military personnel must submit applications to their
respective military service and not directly to NASA. Application
procedures will be disseminated by each service.
Personal interviews and thorough medical evaluations will be required
for both civilian and military applicants under final consideration.
Once final selections have been made, all applicants who were considered
will be notified of the outcome of the process.
Selection rosters established through this process may be used for the
selection of additional candidates during a one year period following
General Program Requirements
Selected applicants will be designated Astronaut Candidates and will be
assigned to the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston,
Texas. The astronaut candidates will undergo a 1 year training and
evaluation period during which time they will be assigned technical or
scientific responsibilities allowing them to contribute substantially to
ongoing programs. They will also participate in the basic astronaut
training program which is designed to develop the knowledge and skills
required for formal mission training upon selection for a flight. Pilot
astronaut candidates will maintain proficiency in NASA aircraft during
their candidate period.
Applicants should be aware that selection as an astronaut candidate does
not insure selection as an astronaut. Final selection as an astronaut
will depend on satisfactory completion of the 1 year training and
evaluation period. Civilian candidates who successfully complete the
training and evaluation and are selected as astronauts will become
permanent Federal employees and will be expected to remain with NASA for
a period of at least five years. Civilian candidates who are not
selected as astronauts may be placed in other positions within NASA
depending upon Agency requirements and manpower constraints at that
time. Successful military candidates will be detailed to NASA for a
specified tour of duty.
NASA has an affirmative action program goal of having qualified
minorities and women among those qualified as astronaut candidates.
Therefore, qualified minorities and women are encouraged to apply.
Pay and Benefits
Salaries for civilian astronaut candidates are based on the Federal
Governments General Schedule pay scales for grades GS-11 through GS-14,
and are set in accordance with each individuals academic achievements
Other benefits include vacation and sick leave, a retirement plan, and
participation in group health and life insurance plans.
Selected military personnel will be detailed to the Johnson Space Center
but will remain in an active duty status for pay, benefits, leave, and
other similar military matters.
NEXT: FAQ #15/15 - Orbital and Planetary Launch Services
From: [email protected] (Jon Leech)
Date: 2 Feb 93 18:58:59 GMT
Subject: Space FAQ 15/15 - Orbital and Planetary Launch Services
Last-modified: $Date: 93/02/02 13:17:04 $
ORBITAL AND PLANETARY LAUNCH SERVICES
The following data comes from _International Reference Guide to Space Launch
Systems_ by Steven J. Isakowitz, 1991 edition.
* Unless otherwise specified, LEO and polar paylaods are for a 100 nm
* Reliablity data includes launches through Dec, 1990. Reliabity for a
familiy of vehicles includes launches by types no longer built when
* Prices are in millions of 1990 $US and are subject to change.
* Only operational vehicle families are included. Individual vehicles
which have not yet flown are marked by an asterisk (*) If a vehicle
had first launch after publication of my data, it may still be
marked with an asterisk.
Vehicle | Payload kg (lbs) | Reliability | Price | Launch Site
(nation) | LEO Polar GTO | | | (Lat. & Long.)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ariane 35/40 87.5% Kourou
(ESA) (5.2 N, 52.8 W) AR40 4,900 3,900 1,900 1/1 $65m
(10,800) (8,580) (4,190)
AR42P 6,100 4,800 2,600 1/1 $67m
(13,400) (10,600) (5,730)
AR44P 6,900 5,500 3,000 0/0 ? $70m
(15,200) (12,100) (6,610)
AR42L 7,400 5,900 3,200 0/0 ? $90m
(16,300) (13,000) (7,050)
AR44LP 8,300 6,600 3,700 6/6 $95m
(18,300) (14,500) (8,160)
AR44L 9,600 7,700 4,200 3/4 $115m
(21,100) (16,900) (9,260)
* AR5 18,000 ??? 6,800 0/0 $105m
Atlas 213/245 86.9% Cape Canaveral
(USA) (28.5 N, 81.0W) Atlas E -- 820 -- 15/17 $45m Vandeberg AFB
(1,800) (34.7 N, 120.6W)
Atlas I 5,580 4,670 2,250 1/1 $70m
(12,300) (10,300) (4,950)
Atlas II 6,395 5,400 2,680 0/0 $75m
(14,100) (11,900) (5,900)
Atlas IIA 6,760 5,715 2,810 0/0 $85m
(14,900) (12,600) (6,200)
* Atlas IIAS 8,390 6,805 3,490 0/0 $115m
(18,500) (15,000) (7,700)
Delta 189/201 94.0% Cape Canaveral
(USA) Vandenberg AFB
Delta 6925 3,900 2,950 1,450 14/14 $45m
(8,780) (6,490) (3,190)
Delta 7925 5,045 3,830 1,820 1/1 $50m
(11,100) (8,420) (2,000)
Energia 2/2 100% Baikonur
(Russia) (45.6 N 63.4 E) Energia 88,000 80,000 ??? 2/2 $110m
H series 22/22 100% Tangeshima
(Japan) (30.2 N 130.6 E)* H-2 10,500 6,600 4,000 0/0 $110m
(23,000) (14,500) (8,800)
Kosmos 371/377 98.4% Plestek
(Russia) (62.8 N 40.1 E) Kosmos 1100 - 1350 (2300 - 3000) $??? Kapustin Yar
[400 km orbit ??? inclination] (48.4 N 45.8 E)
Long March 23/25 92.0% Jiquan SLC
(China) (41 N 100 E)
* CZ-1D 720 ??? 200 0/0 $10m Xichang SLC
(1,590) (440) (28 N 102 E)
CZ-2C 3,200 1,750 1,000 12/12 $20m (41 N 100 E)
(7,040) (3,860) (2,200)
CZ-2E 9,200 ??? 3,370 1/1 $40m
* CZ-2E/HO 13,600 ??? 4,500 0/0 $???
CZ-3 ??? ??? 1,400 6/7 $33m
* CZ-3A ??? ??? 2,500 0/0 $???m
CZ-4 4,000 ??? 1,100 2/2 $???m
Pegasus/Taurus 2/2 100% Peg: B-52/L1011(USA) Taur: Canaveral
Pegasus 455 365 125 2/2 $10m or Vandenberg
(1,000) (800) (275)
* Taurus 1,450 1,180 375 0/0 $15m
(3,200) (2,600) (830)
Proton 164/187 87.7% Baikonour
Proton 20,000 ??? 5,500 164/187 $35-70m
SCOUT 99/113 87.6% Vandenberg AFB
(USA) Wallops FF
SCOUT G-1 270 210 54 13/13 $12m (37.9 N 75.4 W) (600) (460) (120) San Marco
(2.9 S 40.3 E)
* Enhanced SCOUT 525 372 110 0/0 $15m
(1,160) (820) (240)
Shavit 2/2 100% Palmachim AFB
(Israel) ( ~31 N)
Shavit ??? 160 ??? 2/2 $22m
Space Shuttle 37/38 97.4% Kennedy Space
Shuttle/SRB 23,500 ??? 5,900 37/38 $248m (28.5 N 81.0 W)
(51,800) (13,000) [FY88]
* Shuttle/ASRM 27,100 ??? ??? 0/0
SLV 2/6 33.3% SHAR Center
(India) (400km) (900km polar) (13.9 N 80.4 E)
ASLV 150 ??? ??? 0/2 $???m
* PSLV 3,000 1,000 450 0/0 $???m
(6,600) (2,200) (990)
* GSLV 8,000 ??? 2,500 0/0 $???m
Titan 160/172 93.0% Cape Canaveral
Titan II ??? 1,905 ??? 2/2 $43m
Titan III 14,515 ??? 5,000 2/3 $140m
Titan IV/SRM 17,700 14,100 6,350 3/3 $154m-$227m
(39,000) (31,100) (14,000)
Titan IV/SRMU 21,640 18,600 8,620 0/0 $???m
(47,700) (41,000) (19,000)
Vostok 1358/1401 96.9% Baikonur
(Russia) [650km] Plesetsk
Vostok 4,730 1,840 ??? ?/149 $14m
Soyuz 7,000 ??? ??? ?/944 $15m
Molniya 1500kg (3300 lbs) in ?/258 $???M
Highly eliptical orbit
Zenit 12/13 92.3% Baikonur
Zenit 13,740 11,380 4,300 12/13 $65m
(30,300) (25,090) (9,480)
226 Transfer complete.
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